Tattoo Idea Vibrates Through Tech World

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What if you never had to miss another text message or phone call?

Nokia has patented an idea for tattoos that could link humans to their cell phones by vibrating each time the phone receives a text message, call or reaches low battery. The tattoos and phones would be linked by a magnetic field, which would be responsible for the micro vibrations of the tattoo’s ferromagnetic ink.  If users wanted a faster way to recognize callers, they could assign different vibrations to different contacts in the same way that they can assign different ringtones on their cell phones.

“It seems like this would just further the already growing problem of people substituting texting for actually interacting with people,” said sophomore Ezra Zigmond, who said that he would not get a vibrating tattoo if given the option. “While it is certainly an interesting idea, and anyone who wants such a tattoo is entitled to get one, if a time comes when people think it’s so important that they know exactly when they get a text . . . that really is a bad sign.”

Junior Josh Schultheiss said that although Nokia’s idea is getting a lot of notice by media and technology lovers, he doesn’t think that it will go too far. “I think that acquisition of a vibrating tattoo patent is merely so Nokia can have options in the future,” he said.

However, if the idea gets off of the ground it will have some support. “Half of the time my phone rings I don’t hear it, I don’t feel it,” said senior Daniel Jones. Jones said that he would definitely consider getting one of Nokia’s tattoos, his only reservation being that he “would still want it to look cool.”

Senior Jalen Willis said that he would also be interested in a vibrating tattoo. “I just think it’s cool,” he said. “I do random things. I don’t know, I’d be a part of history if I did that. Just leaving a mark.”

For those who like the tattoo idea but don’t actually want to get ferromagnetically inked, Nokia has also patented a more temporary alternative: vibrating stickers.

 A version of this article appeared in print on 24 April, 2012, on page 12 of The Shakerite.

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