Erasable Tattoos

For years I have wanted to get a tattoo. However when it comes to deciding what to mark ones body with for the rest of ones life I usually draw up short. I have a habit of going off ideas very fast and would probably come to loath a tattoo within weeks never mind years. Ideas have been :

  • A Chinese character
  • A barcode
  • The bat logo from Batman Forever (with Riddler question mark!?!)
  • A Celtic pattern
  • A barb wire

As I look back at them all I’m sure I’d want to gouge the skin out of my arm to remove any one of them.

Tattoos of course are removable, but there are stories of extensive laser treatment that cost a lot and quite painful with the final result being close to but not completely normal. Please see attached photo.

While my personal favourite solution, programmable tattoos, are a long way off, I was surprised to see on Time’s top inventions for the year a tattoo ink that can be removed in a single treatment, called Freedom2. The ink is really biodegradable and bioabsorbable dyes within safe, colorless polymer beads. To remove the tattoo a laser breaks open the polymer bead, the ink is dispersed and can be absorbed by the body unlike current inks that contain heavy metals.

I can imagine the arguments that parents are going to be having with there kids once this new ink becomes ubiquitous until then please refer to the popular Machinima, Red vs Blue, public service announcement and remember 10 years ago you were and idiot and you still are an idiot, it will just take you another 10 years to find out.

Programmable Tattoos

I can’t believe I missed this announcement nearly a full year ago detailing the concepts behind a possible programmable tattoo.

The technology behind eInk has been floating around for about 6 years but it is only recently that products are finally beginning to enter the market using eInk. (I recently purchased a Sony eReader, which had to be sourced from the States as it hasn’t been released in Australia)

I have to admit the idea behind an eInk driven tattoo entered my head about 5 years ago when seeing people getting henna tattoos on the beaches of Thailand . It seems a simple stretch to imagine if you could take eInk and inject it and then you’d have a tattoo you could change every day(In turns out I was out by 3 years, a patent was filed in 1999). However eInk didn’t come out as fast or as heralded as initially though and currently technology is still only 180 DPI with slight elements of ghosting. I imagine it would have to pass some strict FDA test before it was allowed to be injected into the human body, but who knows some day people will be able to used eInk in some tattoo ink form how cool would that be? One day you have a small dolphin the next a full body moari tribal pattern, I can’t wait.

I have had an eReader for a month now, I am planning to do a review soon detailing my experiences, I will say it is very very interesting (if expensive).