Forget those 808 Adidas boots, if you really want wearable sound then it gets no more serious than having it tattooed on your body. Skin Motion have invented a way of tattooing audio onto your skin that actually plays back. This is not a joke, this is completely real.
Ok, so the tattoo itself doesn’t play back. There’s no bioengineering going on or body-hacks to implant subwoofers under the skin. However, the idea is that you have an app on your phone that scans the wave and generates the sound. In the example video below, creator and tattoo artist Nate Siggard has what is his partner Juliana saying “I love you” followed by some adorable baby gurgling noises. The sound obviously comes out of the phone, but the way the app looks like it’s scanning the wave is pretty remarkable.
Skin Motion suggest you could have the voice of a loved one. Or perhaps a memorial of the voice of someone you’ve lost, which is somehow heart warming and chilling at the same time. It could be a quote or a favourite song. And of course, there’s the jokes, sound effects and fart noises that will make you the life and soul of the party.
Can you imagine the copyright issues of carrying someone else’s performance permanently playable on your body?
The app works, I think, by matching the shape of the tattoo with the shape of the wavefile recording that you’ve uploaded to the app’s database. Once uploaded you can purchase the generated tattoo and get it inked by a Skin Motion certified artist. There’s potential as well for accommodating existing waveform tattoos.
It’s a really interesting idea. I guess you can already scan QR codes – in fact, someone in the comments on the Facebook thread suggested a tattooing a QR code to your SoundCloud account as an alternative. I’d predict that this is going to start feeding into augmented reality where an AR tattoo would generate all sorts of visual and audio things in response to a scan from a phone, tablet or AR device like the Hololens. Well, it’s another step towards those Sci-Fi futures we keep seeing at the movies.
The app is currently still under development and there’s a waiting list you can join to preorder your tattoo for when it’s launched in June. More information on the Skin Motion website.