Tattoos can be used to control your smartphone–sounds futuristic? But it’s not. MIT has just created a tattoo that is more useful than enhancing your beauty and being your style statement.

The school has a group of PhD’s in their Media Lab as well as scientists from Microsoft Research who have teamed up for a project to create the very first “smart”-tattoo.

MIT has done it again. This time, they have made tattoos that can interact with your smartphone and store your business card. It is known as DuoSkin and made using thin gold metal leaves which help in keeping the costs down.

Artificial intelligence has been taken to the next level with DuoSkin, which is a temporary “gold-leaf” tattoo that enables a person to remotely control their smartphone with a mere index finger stroke onto their skin. It also allows a person to share data with others by simply rubbing onto the tattoo.

DuoSkin is a fabrication process that enables anyone to create customized functional devices that can be attached directly on their skin. Using gold metal leaf, a material that is cheap, skin-friendly, and robust for everyday wear, we demonstrate three types of on-skin interfaces: sensing touch input, displaying output, and wireless communication. DuoSkin draws from the aesthetics found in metallic jewelry-like temporary tattoos to create on-skin devices which resemble jewelry.



DuoSkin devices enable users to control their mobile devices, display information, and store information on their skin while serving as a statement of personal style. 

The tattoo is an outcome of the research “DuoSkin: Rapidly Prototyping On-Skin User Interfaces Using Skin-Friendly Materials”. It is being carried out at the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with Microsoft Research.

“We believe that in the future, on-skin electronics will no longer be black-boxed and mystified; instead, they will converge towards the user friendliness, extensibility, and aesthetics of body decorations, forming a DuoSkin integrated to the extent that it has seemingly disappeared”.