We at BNXH091 take pride in our ability to sift through the loads of “developments” in the health and fitness industry, and accurately determine the new ideas and products that will actually change the way we live. An incredibly popular topic as of late is the concept of tracking your health – with smartphones, smartwatches, fitbits, and wearable tech ushering in an era of constant health updates, pings and warnings. Tracking your health is now easier than ever.
However, it can still be annoying. Those fitbits are easily lost, phones are easily cracked and broken, and sometimes all that technology just isn’t that accurate. So it seems inevitable that someone would invent an accurate and unlosable option. It also seems inevitable that one day we’d all be walking around with technology permanently (or semipermanently) attached to our bodies. The time may have come.
Texas-based tech company Chaotic Moon Studios have recently announced the development of “tech tattoos.” Essentially, they’re semi-permanent biometric devices that you can tattoo on your skin. They combine the functionality of a fitness tracker with the stylistic beauty of a tattoo.
The technology works by embedding a tiny computer chip into a slightly raised tattoo. Chaotic Moon says that it would then be able to monitor everything from your step counts to your workout times. Also, since they’re on your skin, they’ll be able to track your blood sugar, heart rate, body temperature and metabolism.
It’s a more integrated and less intrusive technology according to those who make it. “You’re eliminating clunky, expensive devices with a low-interference, low-cost, and low-hassle alternative, and using the user’s skin as the interface,” says the agency. “It’s technology that is, in a sense, part of the user. The result? Total integration.”
Chaotic Moon Studios have also released an informational video to introduce the concept to the general public.
As the video shows, the Tat can transfer your health data from the tiny chip to your mobile device. This is done with Bluetooth Low Energy, the same wireless protocol that powers such devices as the Amazon Dash button.
“This is going beyond what the fitness tracker is. This is something you can put on your body once a year that monitors everything [a clinic] would do in a physical, and sends that to your doctor. If there’s an issue, they could just call you,” explained Eric Schneider, creative technologist for Chaotic Moon. He added that, theoretically, tech tats could go beyond health tracking and be used to pinpoint a persons location, act as a virtual wallet and integrate with home and car automations. Sounds a little bit like the beginnings of a dystopian future, but that’s just me.
Some mind-easing news is, the technology is actually removable. If opening your garage door by pressing on your arm feels too personal, or if having a tech company know your specific location at all times feels too creepy, all you have to do is peel off the chip. You can even stomp it into the pavement if you’re feeling dramatic.
Although geeks are eager to get their hands on the tech, they may have to wait. The company is only in prototype stage. Although, according to them, the tech works and they have plans to bring the product to market.
No word yet on the potential price, but the company said that it would be accesibile. Also, they might opt for a band-aid-like package that will let people buy in bulk. So if RFID chips under your skin makes you feel queasy, Tech Tats might be the right product to ease you into the biohacking, biowearable, health-tech future.