Pain in the Neck

I saw this tweet today saying that Motorola (owned by Google) has put in a patent for a neck tattoo that also acts as a noise-cancelling microphone… Now that takes wearable technology to a whole new level! The device (which I’m guessing will be very small!) is a small electronic chip that will be somehow tattooed into the neck and will measure vibrations. This is an interesting concept and is something that straightaway comes with many questions like “how will it work?” and “what will it do?” etc etc. This is also something I’m sure that will come with plenty of strong opinions, some supporting it and some against it.

The basis of it is a throat microphone (not a new concept) but one that is not removable, which should be useful for phone conversations, picking up the vibrations straight from the throat and eliminating any other unwanted background noise (it works on the same basis as active noise-cancelling headphones). Particular uses would come in busy areas where there is a lot of background noise; although it does have the increased potential to make you look crazy, like you’re talking to yourself!

One other aspect of it that seems to have been highlighted is that of a lie detector, as explained in the Telegraph article linked in the tweet above:

Equipped with a display that lights up under certain conditions, “the electronic skin tattoo can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user.”

The patent continues: “It is contemplated that a user may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual.”

This to me does not seem a logical idea, as who is going to want to let people know when they are lying? And besides, I’m sure there is some kind of law against forcing people on the Jeremy Kyle show into getting tattoos they don’t want! Maybe Google have thought of some clever reason for it I haven’t thought of?! Apart from that there are other downsides, like the obvious one of having to have a tattoo on your neck you may not have necessarily wanted otherwise.

This is not Google’s first attempt at wearable, or ingestible technology and I’m sure it won’t be their last either, as somehow I can see more and more technology being made more ‘convenient’ and discrete, especially with the development of Google Glass. Some people are willing to give any new technology a go in the name of development, but for me this just seems one step too far into the crazy. What do you think abut wearable technology, is it something you would try?

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