Blue-tooth enabled subcutaneously-implanted, blood powered touch display tattooSaturday, 23 February, 2008
As the title says, it’s blue-tooth enabled subcutaneously-implanted, blood powered touch display implanted below a tattoo on the skin. When you get a call, the implant turns on, producing a field that causes microspheres of ink to aggregate, causing the tattoo (in the skin above the implant) to become visible. So, this can happen in real-time (although I wonder what the refresh-rate is), so you can potentially watch videos on it, albeit in black and white. Once the call ends, the field dissipates causing the tattoo ink to become invisible again.
The implant is powered by a fuel-cell, presumably converting blood glucose and oxygen with a catalyst into a usable electric current. I assume that the catalyst will need replacing every now and then, as this is a problem with most implantable fuel cells, though none of the articles I’ve read seem to pick up on that fact. A good implant would enable this refuelling to be done via syringe, and a bad one would require replacement. But that might not matter, because if it lasts up to a year, the newer model with greater resolution and colour screen would be out!
However, if one needs ink injected in the skin, how would that ink be removed for the next version with greater colour depth?
Additionally, the implant monitors health, which I assume means just blood glucose and blood pressure (perhaps pulse as
well). It would likely run out of power if it displayed this at all times, but every once in a while one could check blood glucose. Perhaps a few Type 1 diabetes would like this feature more than the ability to make phone calls. This is probably a better use for the device, at least to begin with, as the tattoo would not need to show moving images and would not need to be active for as long.
But remember people, this is just a concept – not even a prototype yet. You’re not going to see one for a few years yet, because of the problems above. And to those commenters on Gizmodo and Geekologie that cast doubt on the ability to use blood glucose for electric current, that stuff is old news (actually, with microbial fuel cells using E.Coli, electricity was created from glucose way back in 1912). It’s possible to do it, just not yet possible to do it well enough for long-term implants.
But once these problems are overcome, it will be interesting to see any objections to this technology. Mark of the Beast (Revelation 13:16-17) perhaps? Will an invasive procedure be justifiable for cosmetic or entertainment purposes? All questions that will need to be answers, in addition to the technological feasibility, in coming years.