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Microsoft MIT design touchpad tattoos to control phones

Technology has by far essentially been something that you can wear or carry in your hands, until today. MIT scientists came together with Microsoft to work on a project that is equally trendy and sophisticated.

Smart watches have been making several headlines in the recent years, even if some of them speak ill of it. A lot of fashion industry professionals have been sporting something called Flash Tattoos.

Combine these two and we have a revolutionary and a cheesy “DuoSkin”.

Which is the name MIT and Microsoft decided to give to their collaborated creation of temporary tattoos which when touched and slid over, produce a functionality to operate with your smart phones.


These tats look like a beautiful cross between a tribal element and a technological design.

There are 3 main ways you can interact with your smart phones with these 3 types of super rad tats.

Type 1 Tattoo – Input class


You can make a quick guess what this Type 1 tattoo does.

Yes, this tattoo can act like a touchpad, using which you could open and control apps, move things on your mobile screen.

All you gotta do is swipe away on your tattoo as needed.

Clearly, Type 1 tattoos are implanted with sensors all along their length to simulate physical touch on your mobile.

Type 2 Tattoo – Output class


Type 2 tattoos are based on thermochromic properties of color pigment.

Meaning, if your body temperature varies, these tattoos change color accordingly.

So, this way these tattoos can give you visual information of your body temperature. It could even tell a lot about your emotions.

If you get angry or furious, or you’re experiencing some form of anxiety, it naturally triggers body temperature to rise.

If that happens, these tattoos light up, brighten in color. This is made possible through added aid of LEDs embedded withing the tattoo.

Type 3 Tattoo – Communication class


This perhaps is the most unique sell and a commercial one at it.

Class 3 tattoos can act as a storage unit and can later transmit this information or data to your mobile via NFC (Near Field communication) or any other device that is NFC-enabled.

The smart phone needs to be tapped over the tattoo as shown in the image above and information gets shared.


Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, a PhD student at MIT, who had a major hand involved in the making of DuoSkin explains that the idea comes from a culture or trend in practice back at Taiwan, her hometown.

Taiwan streets are lined with a variety of trend stores that combine a lot of cosmetics to bring about a versatile trend.

Cindy decided to produce a similar effect by throwing technology in the mix.

Cindy believes that such a skin-friendly flash tattoo ( made of Gold leaf, that are normally used as chocolate coverings) embedded with an affordable technology (as against smart watches), could soon make its way to the fashion stores and tattoo parlors.

This entire study will be presented as a paper in the forthcoming International Symposium on Wearable Computers.


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