Nokia explores haptic tattoos for phone notifications

Ferromagnetic ink could vibrate when you receive a text or email. Urban.

Nokia has just filed one of the weirdest mobile phone-related patents you’re ever likely to see: on-the-skin patches – or even tattoos – linked to your smartphone and capable of providing haptic feedback. The idea is that you’ll never miss a notification from your mobile.

Detailed over at Unwired View, the patches would be made from a material able to detect a magnetic field and vibrate when alerted. So you could pair them with a device and have give you a haptic nudge when a new text arrives.

But it gets weirder: the patent also details tattoos using ferromagnetic ink. These would be applied to your skin as per a regular tattoo, but the special ink can, like the patches, detect magnetic fields. We’re getting into some serious sci-fi/bionic man territory here, so we look forward to more news with a mixture of excitement and terror.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard some odd haptics-related rumours in recent times. Back in January there was talk of Apple using programmable magnets to make the screen on an iPad or other touchscreen device bulge, essentially poking you back and replicating the feel of a real physical button.

And on the day of the iPad announcement, we got a bit carried away with talk of Senseg tech to make tablets feel rough and smooth depending on what's on the screen. One day, kids, one day.

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