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Biometric tattoo is the latest in wearable technology

As a sign that wearable technology could one day become fully integrated, or at least implanted, into the body, researchers have come up with a tattoo that forms a type of circuit with a wearable sensor. The idea, NBC News reports, is to provide more accurate readings than is possible with wearing something like a smartwatch.

The company behind the idea is Chaotic Moon, based in Austin (Texas, U.S.) The company has developed atype of tattoo that is capable of acting as an advanced fitness tracker. The technology is called Tech Tats. The technology, which resembles a tattoo applied with ink, contains electronic components, such as a microcontroller and LED lights. These components can track vital signs like someone’s heart beat, body temperature and blood pressure.

Unlike the type of tattoo etched onto a body part at a tattoo studio, the ink used with the new development isn’t permanent and it doesn’t come with a range of options for skulls, eagles or the names of a loved one (at least not yet.) The tattoo consists of a series of interconnecting black lines. It is easily applied by sticking onto an arm with a little warm water.

According to the inventors: “Tech Tats are what we’ve dubbed biowearables: wearable technology that isn’t just, say, strapped to the user’s wrist, but interacts with their wrist. (In this case, in the form of a tattoo.) In other words, you’re eliminating clunky, expensive devices with a low-interference, low-cost, and low-hassle alternative, and using the user’s skin as the interface. It’s technology that is, in a sense, part of the user. The result? Total integration.”

The biowearable is shown in the video below:

While the prototype is aimed initially at the fitness market in the longer term the inventors, in a TechCrunch interview, think the technology can have wider applications, such as parents using it to track a child in crowded place or even for paying for purchases in a similar way to Apple or Samsung Pay.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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