Hack-a-Tatt: Wearable Tattoos that Act as Remote Controls Directly from Your Skin, Fabric or Any Surface

Hack a tatt tattoo
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft researchers came with new uses for tattoos. Aside from just being a decoration on your skin, these smart tattoos help you change channels on your TV. The researchers created smart decorative tattoos called Hack-a-Tatt that look like decorative body decoration but they also work as remote controls directly from the skin.

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Spearheaded by Microsoft research designer Asta Roseway, a recent Hack-a-Tatt workshop during the Microsoft Hackathon invited fellow employees to explore and design new interfaces that enable wearers to play games and music and control devices from their skin or clothing, reports Microsoft.

You can connect these interactive tattoos to any device via Bluetooth from a microprocessor. The tattoos are temporary, especially on the skin, but they can last for months on other surfaces, such as fabrics or 3D prints (and possibly, researchers are exploring, prosthetics). Researchers are testing to create smart tattoo kits, which will help empower anyone to design and build their own smart tattoo and open up the technology’s use and applications.

Hack a tatt tattoo
Image: Microsoft

“At Microsoft, employees and researchers are dreaming up new tattoo tech so people can play games and music, change TV channels, design controllers as unique as they are. It’s a way to create the future and wear it now,” says the Microsoft video.

The concept of smart tattoos isn’t anything new. Last year, Wearable Technologies reported, LogicInk, a San Francisco, CA-based startup and a pioneer in programmable materials, announced the development of its smart tattoo called LogicInk UV that signals you when it’s time to get out of the sun to prevent skin damage.

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Sam Draper
Sam Draper () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies specialized in the field of sports and fitness but also passionated about any new lifestyle gadget on the market. Sam can be contacted at press(at)wearable-technologies.com.