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By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft Research working on the ultimate wearable: a tattoo to control devices remotely
by Usama Jawad
Technology is evolving day by day; researchers are working to make your phone's battery last forever, developing chip architectures to allow multi-core phones and PCs to run up to 18 times faster, and are even promising a future where Pokémon GO is much more believable.
Now, PhD students from the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with Microsoft Research, are working to develop a temporary skin tattoo that can allow users to interact with connected interfaces, remotely control a smartphone, act as a touchpad, and even share data via NFC.
The technology has been dubbed as "DuoSkin", and is described as follows:
The researchers involved are endeavoring to have at least three classes of on-skin interfaces, namely input, output and communication. Their work, if successful, will allow users to interact with DuoSkin using buttons, sliders and 2D trackpads. The technology, in return, also has the ability to output soft colored displays on the skin. In addition, MIT has also noted that DuoSkin can make devices interact using NFC, in order to share data between connected gadgets.
It is important to remember that back in 2010, a Carnegie Mellon student also designed a similar gesture-based interface that could be utilized on the wrist or the back of the hand. The project named as "Skinput" was aided by Microsoft Research as well, but it turned out to be economically infeasible.
Source and image: MIT via The Verge
By Draconian Guppy
While some Canadians have been marvelling at the size of Justin Trudeau's election victory - helping the Liberal Party turn a wipeout in 2011 into an overall majority - others have been focusing on the 43-year-old's athletic body and a large tattoo on his left arm. Could he, they ask, be the only major world leader with a tattoo?
The tattooed image of a raven was getting a lot of attention on social media on election night. "OH that IS a Raven tattoo! This guy seems interesting,"tweeted @meg_shuler. "Is Justin Trudeau the first Western leader to have a tattoo?" asked @aveek18- one of a number of people who wondered this.
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. ? Authorities say that a 28-year-old man suspected of robbing a woman at a Washington ferry terminal friended her on Facebook the next day.
The Kitsap Sun reports Saturday that Riley Allen Mullins was charged Friday in Kitsap District Court with second-degree robbery.
Authorities say a woman was sitting at the Bremerton ferry terminal on Tuesday using her headphones when she was struck on the head from behind. After being struck, a man grabbed her iPod and purse and ran. She didn't recognize the man but noticed a tattoo of a triangle on his neck.
The next day, the woman received a Facebook friend notification and recognized the sender as the man who robbed her.
Investigators confirmed the Facebook account belonged to Mullins, and they noted a profile picture of Mullins showing the triangle neck tattoo.
NORRIDGEWOCK ? Michael Smith went outside shirtless after being awakened Tuesday morning, yelling at a tree removal company to get off his property.
The workers thought they saw a gun in his waistband and called police.
Smith, who?d gone back to bed, was awakened again minutes later ? this time by Maine State Police at his front door, backed up by a group of troopers with assault rifles in his driveway. They were asking him via a megaphone to come out of his house.
Smith did have a gun. It was tattooed on his stomach.
No charges will be filed against Smith, but police said they always take reports of a gun or threat seriously. Several police standoffs with armed men have occurred in central Maine in recent years, some of them deadly.
?Obviously it was a misunderstanding and he didn?t have a weapon, but we had to respond to the initial report as if he did,? Maine State Police Trooper Scott Duff said. ?We take all precautions when we don?t have the details.?
Smith was asleep at his home, about 10 a.m. Tuesday when he heard a loud noise outside his window. He said it sounded as though someone was driving up his driveway and crunching the thick layer of ice on it.
Smith, who works nights, said he was still asleep and was surprised to see a crew of workers from Lucas Tree Experts preparing to saw a number of trees around some power lines on his property.
Wearing just a pair of pants and no shirt, though the temperature was in the teens, he went outside and asked them to leave.
The tree removal company workers reported that as they backed into the driveway, Smith told them not to cut the trees. They told him it was not a problem.
Smith went back to bed; but as the workers were leaving, one thought he saw a pistol in Smith?s waistband.
That?s when they called the police, momentarily prompting reports of a police standoff.
?They weren?t 100 percent sure what he was saying,? Duff said, ?but he was yelling and they thought it could be some sort of a threat. They thought he was yelling something to the effect of doing harm, but when we got a hold of him, it ended up just being a tattoo.?
It was all just a misunderstanding, both Smith and police said.
The tattoo of the life-size handgun is positioned on Smith?s body to look as if the barrel of the gun is tucked into the waist of his pants. He said he doesn?t regret getting it, even though this isn?t the first time the tattoo has been the focus of police attention.
Google's Motorola division makes phones. People make calls on those phones. And now that mobile has eaten the world, they often reach out to business associates and loved ones in noisy situations like "large stadiums, busy streets, restaurants, and emergency situations." Which makes it harder to communicate.
Thankfully, then, Google has patented a new possible solution to the age old problem of talking with each in loud places: "Communication can be reasonably improved" by the application of an electronic throat tattoo, which could dampen "acoustic noise."
Sounds reasonable! Just look at the guy in the patent drawing. He's happy! Who wouldn't want a neck tattoo that provides "auxillary voice input to a mobile communication device"?
But it's not just a noise-canceling microphone for your telephone! The tattoo can do more. It can have a display that lights up under certain conditions.
And the other kind of noise that gets introduced into conversations is lies! Bad data. So, the electronic skin tattoo can detect those, too.
"Optionally, the electronic skin tattoo can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user," the patent reads. "It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual."
That is contemplated, isn't it?
Put it all together and The User could have a screen on his throat that turns orange when he starts sweating because he's a liar. Everything will be clear to his business associates and loved ones, from the timber of his voice to the content of his character.
Who would not want to live in this world?
1) This is just a patent. Patents rarely become products. Most are worthless. Etc.
2) Though it is called a tattoo, the device is really more of a sticker applied with an adhesive.
2a) Which is a good thing because everyone hates an obsolescent tattoo (see: tribal bands, frat letters, ex-spouses).
3) Other researchers are working on similar "tattoos," but for different applications, mostly biomedical sensors.
4) It's not just for humans! "Here it is contemplated that the electronic tattoo can also be applied to an animal as well. Audio circuitry can also include a microphone for emitting sound corresponding to fluctuations of muscle or tissue in the throat."
It is contemplated, then, that perhaps, your dog will be able to tell you how much he loves you in a robot voice. But then you'll look down and his little screen will be flashing orange, orange, orange. Orange for liar. :o