Cell phone tattoo that runs on blood glucose

That is amazing:

The basis of the 2x4-inch "Digital Tattoo Interface" is a Bluetooth device made of thin, flexible silicon and silicone. It's inserted through a small incision as a tightly rolled tube, and then it unfurls beneath the skin to align between skin and muscle. Through the same incision, two small tubes on the device are attached to an artery and a vein to allow the blood to flow to a coin-sized blood fuel cell that converts glucose and oxygen to electricity. After blood flows in from the artery to the fuel cell, it flows out again through the vein.

On both the top and bottom surfaces of the display is a matching matrix of field-producing pixels. The top surface also enables touch-screen control through the skin. Instead of ink, the display uses tiny microscopic spheres, somewhat similar to tattoo ink. A field-sensitive material in the spheres changes their color from clear to black, aligned with the matrix fields.

The tattoo display communicates wirelessly to other Bluetooth devices - both in the outside world and within the same body. Although the device is always on (as long as your blood's flowing), the display can be turned off and on by pushing a small dot on the skin. When the phone rings, for example, an individual turns the display on, and "the tattoo comes to life as a digital video of the caller," Mielke explains. When the call ends, the tattoo disappears. (Emphasis mine.)

I want one. I am the type of person who is loses small items all the time. Never again will I leave my cell phone in a cab! (Hopefully...something really interesting would have to happen for me to leave this in the cab...)

I wonder if they could do it in color. This device probably doesn't use much power considering the display isn't back illuminated. I wonder if there is a power limitation because the fuel cell likely doesn't have a huge amount of juice.

Oh wait. I just had a great idea: you could up the power usage on the fuel cell to lose weight. You would have a horrible blood sugar during the process, but you could definitely spend calories calling relatives.


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One thought; would people with darker skin have increasing difficulty seeing the display?

And how do you use the phone in the dark?

Even if the cellphone goes nowhere, an implantable, real-time glucose monitor would be a great tool for diabetics.

By Xerxes1729 (not verified) on 03 Mar 2008 #permalink

It is unclear if this actually exists. There's a lot of googlestatic, but all I see is a photoshopped brochure and no working prototype.