This week’s Fall Through the Cracks Friday is significantly off the beaten path…

A recent post at highlights a patent filing from Nokia for a unique use of haptic technology – essentially vibrations from your phone that appeal to your sense of touch. What makes the Nokia filing unique is its approach to haptic tech – through the use of ferromagnetic inks that could be applied to the body or even tattooed under the skin (ouch!).

Once applied, you could “pair” your tattoo to your mobile device like you would a Bluetooth headset. From the post…

The tattoo would be applied using ferromagnetic inks. The ink material would first be exposed to high temperatures to demagnetize it. Then the tattoo would be applied. You’ll apparently be able to choose the actual image you want as the tattoo. The procedure is identical to that of getting a ‘normal’ tattoo – only the ink is special.


After the tattoo has been applied, you’ll need to magnetize it. That means bringing the tattooed area in the close proximity of an external magnet, and going “several times over this magnet to magnetize the image material again”. The tattoo will then have enhanced sensitivity towards external alternating magnet fields, and will basically function the same way the aforementioned material attached to your skin did. Only in a more permanent fashion, so to speak.


There probably are some valid use cases for something like this. For example, in noisy environments when you risk not hearing your phone, this tech would make sure you know it is ringing. Or even at the exact opposite end of the spectrum, it could prove useful in very quiet situations, where even a phone set to vibrate can be heard and can be disturbing. Although with this use case we are already plunging into creepy territory.


So yes, you could wear such a tattoo and, when in a meeting, you and only you will know that your phone requires some attention. Then again, this whole thing feels like it’s one of those which sound sci-fi enough to become a reality in the future, yet they probably won’t. Because they’re not so useful as to render their creepiness irrelevant.

Check out the full post at, and have a fantastic weekend!