Nokia looks to Patent Vibrating Tattoo

A magnetic vibrating tattoo has to be one of the strangest patent applications in quite a while, but Finnish phone giant Nokia has filed a U.S. patent for just that.

According to the patent application, Nokia is proposing “a material attachable to skin, the material capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field.”

Or to put it another way, a vibrating tattoo.

That magnetic field would interact with the tattoo, causing it to vibrate in a certain way.

Nokia’s thinking is that in much the same way that you can have different ring tones for different callers, so too a future phone could emit a different magnetic field depending who is calling, or if your battery is running low, or you receive an SMS, for example.

It doesn’t have to be a tattoo; the application does talk about just a badge, but it is clear that some thought has been given to actually embedding this thing. There is a lot of talk about using “ink enriched by ferromagnetic or paramagnetic compounds” and how these would be applied.

Why? The application doesn’t specify, but you could imagine situations were it is either very quiet, or conversely very noisy, so some alternative form of altering system could be used, although quite why just vibrating the phone itself isn’t enough…

Article by Ben Rooney at The Wall Street Journal

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