Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Resistance is futile.

April 19th, 2009 by

Nothing ever stands still in today’s world. No sooner has tattooing reached an acceptable level of respect in the world of art, one long overdue I might add, then they come out of the woodwork with new ideas to completely change the face of the art. How come I don’t see them trying to rearrange the face of oil and watercolor painting?

The latest bid to change the art into something more science fiction, programmable tattoos. Tattoos that you can not only change the color of, but the design itself. Sheeesh! I may be a bit old fashioned, but I had always thought that the whole appeal of a tattoo was the commitment to permanency. The main reason for the “Think before you ink” tag.

Sound far fetched? Well it’s probably not as far off as you would think. All you have to do is become something of a cyborg. Why is it that all these science types are bound and determined to make us a combination of human and machine? Maybe “Resistance is futile.”

Robert A. Freitas, Jr., a researcher at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in California has the idea that you could implant a display just under the skin so the light was visible through it on your hand or arm. This display, reported in Cryonics magazine, would have billions of light-emitting nanobots that can move around to spell words or make other images in the display. All you have to do to control it is tap yourself like a keyboard. This “nano-skin” polymer film was recently displayed by scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Not into the idea of having a implant? No problem. Popular Science showcased a speculative design that is bonded to the surface of the skin. A matrix with conductive microrods is applied. Then an electromagnetic field used to align the microrods by placing a pad over the skin until the matrix is dry. A second layer of digital ink is applied in a matrix over this, and then another layer of conductive microrods is aligned at right angles to the first.

This all makes the display component for a low-power Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). The WPAN’s pocket-sized server would then be capable of synchronizing with a Wi-Fi enabled PDA device and allow for the uploading of images. I have to wonder what a computer virus would do to the components at this point, or what kind of spy ware you could upload onto your body. Think tracking you on the web is a pain in the ass to your privacy, imagine what new programs can do by tracking your life through your programmable tat?

I’m sure there are quite a few people who think a programmable tattoo would be the bomb, and I’ll leave that, as well as the headaches it can very well cause, up to those who want it. For myself, I’ll stick with my traditional indelible ink. I’m not that interested in allowing “the powers that be” a new way to access my life, nor in becoming Borg…Klingon, maybe…but not Borg. 😉

Live long and prosper, Gang.

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