Circuit Board Health Monitoring Tech Tattoos Are Already Here

Biometric tattoos do not require surgical implants.
Biometric tattoos do not require surgical implants.

Ben Lamm, CEO of Chaotic Moon, is understandably excited while talking about his company’s innovation. Dubbed ‘Tech Tats’, the tattoo kit, now in the prototype stage, will collect and transmit data similar to the Jawbone or Apple Watch. The tattoo, which washes off, will send data to medical staff and can also have military applications.

Eco-Friendly, Non-Invasive Platform

Lamm described the tattoo as an eco-friendly, non-invasive platform use that turns a person into a “human circuit board.”

It can monitor body temperature to detect stress-based sweat, hydration level and heart rate. Information is transmitted via location-based, low-frequency mesh networks or Bluetooth similar to networks used for messenger apps such as Firechat or Jott.

The military could use the tattoos for detecting pathogens on a soldier’s body, poisons in the air or identifying a soldier’s location if they are stressed or injured. The tattoo can be on the skin beneath a soldier’s flack jacket.

More Secure Information

The tattoos can also attach financial information to the skin, making the information more secure than in a physical wallet. Hence, they have financial applications.

They can also be used for location tracking during concerts or monitoring the location of children at amusement parks.

Lamm said existing data collection components on the human body are oftentimes bulky and therefore limiting. Lamm’s company is changing this with conducive ink. He said the future of wearables is “bio-wearables.”

Chaotic Moon has already developed bitcoin-earning fitness trackers and fire-breathing drones.

Lamm said the tattoo project is one of the most exciting the studio has done.

Also read: Hacked 3D printer becomes a precision tattooing robot

Temporary Biometric Option Has Advantages

Biometric tattoos are not new. Cyberpunks, also known as grinders, manipulate their bodies with surgically-implanted RFID chips, magnets and other components used for biohacking.

A temporary data collection option, according to Lamm, has advantages over more permanent options. The tattoo kits would be less expensive, less invasive than surgical implants and less bothersome than current wearables since people would be able to put them on and not need to remember to charge a device.

Tracking humans with tracker ink poses privacy issues. To these concerns, Lamm said Chaotic Moon is only creating the product and will leave privacy and regulatory issues up to those who use the technology.

The U.S. government has announced plans to create nanochips for monitoring soldiers’ health on the battlefield, according to Business Insider.

Tim Cannon, who heads Grindhouse Wetware, said there are attempts to develop more permanent biometric tattoos for ongoing monitoring. He said the ink has not been considered safe enough at present. Grindhouse Wetware implants open-source RFID chips in humans to perform tasks like starting a car or opening a door.

All images and video courtesy of Tech

Lester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.