Ever considered getting a tattoo?

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about future technologies to watch out for. The feedback from clients and colleagues was a mixture of fascination, fear, WTF’s and OMG’s. And you could easily say that I am now considered the lead nerd at RED C (not sure whether this is a good or bad thing)! So continuing my flirtation with futuristic, fascinating and occasionally scary trends and developments in the technological world, here is the next big thing to look out for… the Tech Tattoo!

What is the Tech Tattoo?
One of the fastest growing tech categories currently is wearable technologies. Consumers are given a wealth of choices for communication and health monitoring devices, ranging from glasses to smart watches to “life-tracking” health armbands. However, all of these could be completely replaced by the Tech Tattoo in the distant future. And it does not stop here, as this temporary tattoo also has potential to eliminate the need for keys, wallets, mobile phones, batteries, business cards, headphones and even doctor visits! The Tech Tattoo is a temporary tattoo on your body, most likely your wrist or ear, which allows you to conduct a number of daily and highly technical tasks.

Your Personal Information
At a basic level, the Tech tattoo would store personal information, e.g. driver license details, passport and credit card information. This works similar to barcodes on products today. With a swipe of your hand (literally speaking), you could board a plane or pay for groceries in your local supermarket. A simple handshake will allow you to exchange contact information with a new business associate.

Near Field Communication
The Tech Tattoo might contain a chip, allowing for Near Field Communication (NFC). This will allow your tattoo to communicate with other electronic devices, e.g. unlock your personal computer, start your car or unlock the door to your house.

Developers are experimenting with building magnets into these Tech Tattoos. This will allow us to pick up small metal objects or, more importantly, transmit sound. This means that a simple tattoo on the ear flap could replace the talk function of the mobile phone!

Health Monitoring
It is also expected that the Tech Tattoo will take over the functions currently performed by the various health armbands, e.g. tracking your exercise, cholesterol intake and blood pressure. However, it is likely to go much further than just that! The tattoo might collect health information from your sweat, allowing more close and detailed health updates.
Turning Humans into Batteries (now it’s becoming scary!)

And continuing with sweat from the human body, developers are working on how to transform the body’s sweat into electricity by storing the electrons in the lactate from the sweat. This would effectively turn the human body into a battery, allowing you to charge devices simply by the touch of your hand.