Remember when you and your sorority sisters all got dolphin tattoos on your ankle when you were on Spring Break in Panama City? Like so many decisions you made that week, it seemed like a fantastic idea at the time, but now, 20 years later, there's a feeling of regret crawling up your leg.
If only you could bring some function to what's now become an embarrassing, sun-faded reminder on your stubbly, varicose-veined ankle. For instance, what if your dolphin tatt vibrated whenever you received an incoming call? A vibrating ring tone, if you will.
Nokia's patent application proposes "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."
While much of the patent application talks of creating more of a temporary-tattoo decal to apply to the skin, there is generous talk of "ferromagnetic inks" that could be demagnetized before people went under the tattoo gun.
"Such demagnetized ink is then used for creating an image by for example dispersing the ink material on or under the skin to make a functional, tattoo like image," the application explains. "Once the apparatus is settled and the skin cured, the user with the functional image may use permanent magnet to magnetize the functional image on the skin again."
Altering magnetic fields could allow the user to experience different sensations for different callers and different phone functions.
While the vibrating ink idea is certainly not the dumbest scheme to come out of the tattoo world, at least it could eliminate all those awful ring tones. And for that, I rejoice.