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Nokia patents a tattoo that vibrates when you get a call

March 20, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • Nokia's patent for a vibrating tattoo
Nokia's patent for a vibrating tattoo (U.S. Patent and Trademark…)

Nokia is taking steps to make sure you never miss another phone call, text or email alert again: The company has filed a patent for a tattoo that would send "a perceivable impulse" to your skin whenever someone tried to contact you on the phone.

Talk about letting technology get under your skin!

According to the patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the phone would communicate with the tattoo through magnetic waves. The phone would emit magnetic waves and the tattoo would act as a receiver. When the waves hit the tattoo, it would set off a tactile response in the user's skin.

The patent also suggests that it would be possible to customize the physical response depending on who is calling -- similar to having a different ring tone for different family members. So if your husband calls, you might only feel a dull tingling, but if it's your teenage daughter calling you'd feel a mighty itch.

A reporter for Unwired View, who first spotted the unusual patent filing, says it is possible to sync a phone and a tattoo through magnetic waves in a similar way we currently sync our phones with a Bluetooth.

After all, you don't want everyone's tattoo vibrating just because your mom remembered one more thing she wanted to tell you.

To make the magnetized tattoo, Nokia's patent suggests using ferromagnetic ink, which is ink that includes compounds like iron or iron oxide.

Before going in the user's skin, the ink is heated to a high temperature to temporarily demagnetize it. After getting the tattoo, the user remagnetizes it by repeatedly running a magnet over tattooed spot.

In the patent filing, Nokia also proposes a slightly less invasive version of this technology, which would include a magnetic receiver that could be worn on the skin like a sticker, but would also vibrate when the phone rings.

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