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Nokia Applies For Vibrating Tattoo Patent 97

New submitter CanHasDIY writes "Tired of waiting for the Pip-Boy or Omni-Tool to be invented? Never fear! Nokia is developing the basic technology needed to make your dreams a reality: haptic-feedback tattoos. According to the patent application, Nokia is proposing 'a material attachable to skin, the material capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field.' Basically, the process is the same as for normal tattooing; the difference is in the ferromagnetic ink. Kind of brings new meaning to the term 'embedded device,' doesn't it?"
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Nokia Applies For Vibrating Tattoo Patent

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  • by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @11:41AM (#39428073) Homepage

    Subject says it all.

    • I was like... wow... I want that.

      Then I read your comment and realized I'd rather not have my skin ripped off every year.
      • why do you need an MRI every year?

        • Well, more like every second year... When the brain is involved it's better to be on the safe side.

          And it is one of the benefits of free universal healthcare; when it is necessary with regular checkups, even if expensive, there's no health insurance company there to complain.
        • Lots of reasons. My wife has MS and to detect new lesions and determine the effectiveness of her treatments they submit her to a 3T MRI once or twice a year.

          I can imagine quite a few other neurological or autoimmune disorders, not to mention cancer etc., that would have similar diagnostic requirements.

    • Might work as an effective but expensive tattoo remover think Magneto from the X-men movie with hemoglobin :-)

    • The part in which the magnet rips your skin apart must be a downer, I guess...
  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @11:41AM (#39428079)

    until you have to take an MRI.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've had MRIs (two of them, one after another), and among the checklist items beyond no metal was tattoos. Apparently they can heat up during an MRI, I was informed, when I asked why they had tattoos on the checklist form.

      Now, I don't have any tattoos, but the experience was interesting enough. For those who have not been in an MRI chamber, here is my take on that: I got the head MRI done, so the rest of me was outside the chamber. Still, the main issue was that I felt I was not able to breathe in there af

      • Having had about a dozen or so MRI's, I would say it's not very likely that the airflow was an issue. If your mind starts wandering the wrong way it can cause issues, the 'airflow' is one I can easily imagine coming up.

        Similar to the emergency button/pump you receive, as long as you hold it in your hand you're ok. But if it slips out of your hand then many fill freak out cause their state of mind ends up in an irretrievable place.

        So to sum it up; yes, it was the restrictive head position, yes, it was
        • by TheLink ( 130905 )
          I'd hate to have a choking/sneezing fit while stuck in there.
        • by deroby ( 568773 )

          Having gone through 'the procedure' too (only once admittedly), I tend to agree that objectively all those annoyances are just that : annoying. But subjectively it's a different story. When you're laying there just waiting for the experience to be over it's hard not to get stressed by the combination of LOUD noise, the inability to change position even a little bit (both by the fact your head is restrained and because you know you don't want to ruin the session by causing blurred 'pictures' and having to do

      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        The no tattoos is because old tattoos and certain types of tattoos (if you got them in jail) are made with ferromagnetic ink (thus invalidating this patent). They can heat up and cause discomfort, even slight burns because of the currents induced by the magnetic field.

        The breathing problem is simple claustrophobia maybe you also had vertigo (I get vertigo after about 15 minutes in a 3T MRI) causing you to panic. There are no real "airflow" problems in an MRI, usually it's fanned which they can control.

        The "

        • by s.petry ( 762400 )

          The breathing problem is simple claustrophobia maybe you also had vertigo (I get vertigo after about 15 minutes in a 3T MRI) causing you to panic. There are no real "airflow" problems in an MRI, usually it's fanned which they can control.

          Sorry, but you are not correct. Having been through the process about two dozen times (different issues/times) it really depends on the machine and site. I have been in MRIs that have good airflow, but others where there was little to no airflow. As a certified deep sea diver, I can promise that it's not purely claustrophobia.

  • rule 34 (Score:5, Funny)

    by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @11:43AM (#39428115)

    Am I the only one to immediately think of how to apply rule 34 to it?

    • Re:rule 34 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @11:50AM (#39428213) Journal

      I can see some applications in wireless teledildonics. Installation would suck though...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes. Now please feel ashamed.

    • Nope, Terry Pratchett did it in Pyramids.

    • Am I the only one to immediately think of how to apply rule 34 to it?

      No. But don't forget that getting such a tattoo would require the repeated and numerous insertion of a needle into your genitals.

      • by tsotha ( 720379 )

        It's not like people don't do that already with regular tattoo ink.

        My worry would be getting exposed to random magnetic fields from motors and such, then having to endure the smirks of people around me "Oh, is it Spring already? Hahaha." It would be like going through a second adolescence - "No, I will not go to the board and work out this math problem. I'm staying right here at my desk. Sitting. With my legs crossed."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You would also no longer be admitted to visit Magneto in his glass prison.

  • Can I get one on my dick?
  • The real question is what would be the resolution of such device. Can it be so precise that a reasonable area of skin could be used to read message? Or to restore sight to blind people or to make a non visual augmented reality?

    If this is more than a binary variable (vibrate or not), then it opens the doors to much more creative applications.

  • I assume this could be used for alerting you for various things. Cell phone on vibrate. Or it could be used for feedback in video games. How about invisible fences for humans? Hikers could use this to be warned of dangerous areas or conditions. Could also be quite the distraction when you are driving.

  • Unless I'm totally off my rocker(which is possible) wouldn't prior art come into play here? It's one of the "techs" of at least Mass Effect. And I don't think the writers from ME made it up out of thin air.
    • by Epimer ( 1337967 )

      "Prior art" doesn't mean "somebody once came up with this idea in the abstract so you can't have a patent on it".

      For a piece of prior art to be novelty destroying it has to provide enough information for the ordinary skilled person to implement the teachings of the patent in their entirety. Seeing it in a video game doesn't provide you with the technical information to implement a ferromagnetic tattoo which displays different information based off data received from a mobile device.

    • There is plenty of prior art for the tech of implantable magnetics :

      A Sixth Sense for a Wired World []

      Haptic feedback is probably a candidate for the Next Big Thing in human interface devices, the other being wearable displays.

  • Okay, pleasure has already been covered in some posts as a possible application for this. What about intense pain?...Does Nokia have Orwellian aspirations for this patent?
    • Once you get to the point where you are installing ferromagnetic ink under a person's skin, there are much, much easier ways to inflict pain. Even if you want a permanent, can trigger remotely system.

      Now hackers, on the other hand, they could have a sadistic field day with this. Really, the embedded ink sound like a really really bad idea from a practical standpoint (MRI machines as others have mentioned, but there are tons of sources of magnetic fields that could be extremely painful, dangerous, or inconv

      • by TheLink ( 130905 )

        Once you get to the point where you are installing ferromagnetic ink under a person's skin, there are much, much easier ways to inflict pain

        One should also realize that modern medical technology can keep people alive long after they would rather be dead. At least back in the old days there was a significant chance you would die during torture.

        The mind can shut out pain, but shutting out horror and despair might be harder.

        BTW for a similar reason being one of those "highlander" immortals would be terrible in some scenarios since you cannot die. Imagine if one day you were trapped by a sadist who finds out that you can't die...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Pope ( 17780 )

      What about intense pain?...Does Nokia have Orwellian aspirations for this patent?

      Well, they've already gone to Windows Phone 7...

  • Takes on a whole new meaning here.

  • I wonder if you would set of metal detectors too? Normally small amounts of metal are alright, but this has to be acting as an antenna of some sort to get enough energy to vibrate enough to be felt.
  • by grnbrg ( 140964 ) <> on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @12:08PM (#39428459)

    People have been implanting magnetic stuff for a while... []

    • by Epimer ( 1337967 )

      Right, but reading on to claim 4 of the patent: "An apparatus... wherein the magnetic field originates from an electronic device and relates to digital content stored in the electronic device."

      That's nowhere near the same thing as a simple subdermal ferromagnetic implant.

      Claim 1 in the published application is probably broad enough that the stuff in the linked article would be novelty-destroying, but published patent applications aren't the same as granted patents, and in fact will have deliberately have be

  • Prior art (Score:2, Informative)

    by RenHoek ( 101570 )

    Don't tell me this concept has never been used in SciFi before.

    I'm pretty tired of companies taking all of the cool ideas people already had and stamping a patent on it. I'M LOOKING AT YOU IPAD!

    • Patents* don't cover ideas. Patents cover inventions. Call me up when having the idea for a warp drive means you know how to build one.

      *Real, valid, how-they-are-meant-to-be-used patents. Software and design patents (such as the iPad/Galaxy Tablet thing) are just stupid.

      • by RenHoek ( 101570 )

        Yes, but patents aren't 'how-they-are-meant-to-be-used' anymore are they? Sure, you can say that's how it _should_ be, but in the end, that's not how it is. When 99% of all patents nowadays are crap, I think it's safe to go out and generalize.

        Nowadays it's hard to really invent anything anyway. It's all evolutionary (computers are getting small enough to fit in my pocket, omg PocketComputer!) or discovery (Ah so when I run electricity through graphene, that's what happens).

        And you made the point yourself. A

    • by AlecC ( 512609 )

      No, to stamp a patent on it they have to explain how it is done. Which, it appears, they have done in this case. I cannot patent the idea of a time machine, but if I can explain how how one can be built, I can sure as hell patent that, despite many hundreds of SF stories describing time travel.

    • by dpilot ( 134227 )

      Well of course it has. Which begs the question...

      Can it be weaponized, like the O.C. tattoos in the "Pandora's Star" series of books, by Peter F Hamilton?

  • I like tattoos. I have several of them.

    But a vibrating tattoo patented by Nokia? Not so much.

    I can kind of see why I'd want this as a wearable patch, but actually doing it as a tattoo? Well, that's right up there with getting a Zune tattoo -- it just sounds stupid. :-P

    I'll take my actual tattoos as non-magnetic, non vibrating thanks.

    • You missed part of it. The design doesn't matter. You can choose the design, it gets tattoo'd on you, you magentise it, then you use your phone and have sensors in the phone scan the magentic field. To make it vibrate the phone produces amodified magnetic field tbat when it interacts with your tattoo vibrates slightly, and in different patterns.

      You choose design and vibration patterns. Like picking out a tattoo, or ring tone.

      • You missed part of it.

        No, I got that. They claim it goes in just like normal ink and then you re-magnetize later. Choose your own design and everything.

        It doesn't make me any more interested. I have surprisingly little desire to have my tattoo vibrate because my phone is doing something. I simply don't care to have something like this ... I'm not that attached to my phone.

        If sure someone could make a blue-tooth enabled butt-plug which would do the exact same thing -- I'm not buying one of those either.

  • I've seen a few people who seem hell bent on getting a full-body massage out of the idea.

    No tatts here, but I admire the art work.

  • "perceivable stimulus"

    As opposed to patenting something that has impreceivable...

    Does stimulus that no one can observe really happen?

    • by Epimer ( 1337967 )

      You could have a stimulus which was applied at below the threshold level to be detectable by a person, but is still having an effect on the system in question. That would qualify as an imperceptible stimulus.

    • If a tree falls in the woods...yada yada yada.
  • You've never been prank called? Or called by a stalker? Or by some (may $deity smite them in a not-too-merciful way) telemarkedroids? Preferably while you tried desperately to sleep? Or while trying to have sex? Or while trying to do ANYTHING remotely requiring your cell NOT to interrupt?

    If you thought that damn thing ringing would be a nuisance, be prepared for a really new level thereof.

    I'm effin' glad if I can hurl that damn thing into some corner of my flat where I don't need to find it until next time

  • We're a step closer to making one of the lamer superpowers a reality.
  • ... the possibility of 'reading' a ferromagnetic tattoo with a magnetic or r.f. field. The end effect could be similar to having an RFID chip planted in my body, making me trackable wherever I go.

    No thanks. I can leave my cell phone behind when I want to go off the grid.

  • Can I implant one of these tattoos in my arm and a permanent magnet on my waist and then generate current when I swing my arms?

    Interesting possibilities...

  • But both links talk about a "material attachable to the skin" this seems to be a patch not a tattoo. Think nicotine patches all over your arms, sexy. Why do people come up with complicated solutions to things that already exist? They aren't replacing the phone so you still have to have the phone with you. Why not put the damn vibrate setting on rather than a magnetic field generator AND a patch on your arm, have to figure out how to make it so only your phone can make your patch vibrate etc. ? A really comp

  • "Welcome to Nokia tech support, this is Rick speaking. How may I help you?"
    "Thank God I finally reached a person! My tattoo has been buzzing out 'Never Gonna Give You Up' for the past 16 hours and I can't make it stop--please, you've got to help me!"
  • I've already got my phone on vibrate for you baby!
  • They are attempting to patent this as a process, without a material invented to actually work with the patent. Yet another example of blatant patent abuse that the media is trying to hype as a great thing. /sigh

  • I've already got an embedded device that vibrates.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.