Every once in a while technology takes a turn from the “cool” to the “highly unusual.” That’s what we see with Nokia – a company that filed a patent recently for a vibrating tattoo design. This tattoo design will presumably have a microchip installed, and if the user gets a phone call (or some other cell phone function), the tattoo will vibrate – notifying the user of the incoming call.
It’s a neat idea, certainly, but is it something people will use? Let’s look at some of the benefits and weaknesses of this type of tattoo design idea.
Benefits of a Vibrating Tattoo for Cell Phones
· No Need to Carry a Phone
Phones can be hard to hear, or may be on silent, or may not be in your pocket. With a vibrating tattoo design from Nokia, presumably the vibration will still be able to notify you of the phone call. This can be advantageous for those that are hard of hearing or need to get to their cell phone quickly for emergency phone calls or sales calls. It may also be more fun for students, especially those that get in trouble often for having a cell phone that rings during class.
· Cooler Than a Ringtone
Sometimes something that’s different is brings value simply for being different. That’s what we see with the Nokia vibrating tattoo, where the user will simply have a new, interesting way to receive phone calls other than the traditional ringtone way. Not all changes need to have a purpose. “Cool” is a valuable characteristic all its own.
· Somewhat Artistic
Presumably, this type of tattoo can be designed by the wearer, or they will have a choice from a larger tattoo design gallery. It would not be surprising if Nokia also offered coupons or some other method of helping people cover the costs of the tattoo. This will not be known until the technology is released.
Weaknesses of a Vibrating Tattoo for Cell Phones
Despite those potential benefits, this type of device does appear to have more downsides than upsides. Some weaknesses include:
· Safety Hazards
This type of technology may emit radiation close to the skin that could be harmful, or may be made of materials that poison the body. Scientists found that dogs with microchips would occasionally get cancer or disease at the site of their microchips, and presumably this could cause the same problem.
· Stuck with One Brand
It’s easy to see why Nokia would be interested in a vibrating tattoo, since tattoos are permanent. But as a cell phone user, you might not be interested in sticking with Nokia forever. In this case you’d have a permanent reminder that you used to be a Nokia user. It’s not necessarily a real tattoo, but it’s hard to see how any type of skin graft will not create a permanent mark of some kind.
Finally, the technology itself is simply unusual. Will it vibrate loudly? Will it tickle the skin in inappropriate situations? Will it fall off or stretch? There are so many potential downsides to this technology that it’s hard to see why it would even be a worthwhile investment.
Still, at the moment all of this is just speculation. There’s no way to know exactly how these Nokia vibrating tattoo designs are going to affect the public. Any technology has the potential to be interesting or useful technology. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with these vibrating tattoos in the future.