Nokia’s creepy "haptic tattoo" patent

How important is it to you to know that someone is calling or texting you?

Would you be willing to alter your body? Nokia apparently assumes that at least some people will.

The mobile manufacturer has applied for a patent for “haptic tattoo” technology, meaning users can use special ink to create a tattoo on their body, which would react when they get a text message of phone call.

If you’ve ever used a touch-screen phone and felt the feedback that you get when you touch a button or command, that’s the kind of feeling you’d be exposed to with one of these tattoos.

In Nokia’s words, the patent is for a material that is “capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field.”

The company specifically mentions the forearm as a place where the tattoo could be placed, but assumedly it would work on any part of the skin.

Among the different sensations detailed in the patent are the ability for the tattoo to give users one short pulse or a series of pulses. So you could set it to receive a jolt when you get a text message, or a continuous string of jolts if a phone call comes in.

Of course, you’d need to have your cell phone nearby for this to work. But who knows? Some day Nokia might apply for a patent where you get mobile chips implanted into your body so you don’t even have to pick up a phone to call someone.