Ring tones that are felt, not heard, could be on their way.
From The Wall Street Journal TechEurope blog:
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.”
Or to put it another way, a vibrating tattoo.
That magnetic field would interact with the tattoo, causing it to vibrate in a certain way.
Nokia’s thinking is that in much the same way that you can have different ring tones for different callers, so too a future phone could emit a different magnetic field depending who is calling, or if your battery is running low, or you receive an SMS, for example.
Rockband Linkin Park may have been prescient on this discovery:
Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real
There’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
This lack of self-control I fear is never ending
Controlling/I can’t seem
To find myself again
My walls are closing in
(without a sense of confidence and I’m convinced that there’s just too much pressure to take)
I’ve felt this way before
Discomfort,endlessly has pulled itself upon me
Against my will I stand beside my own reflection
It’s haunting how I can’t seem…
Hopefully, more useful applications will evolve from this discovery. Do we really need to feel calls, texts, tweets as they’re coming in?