We’ve all heard of alternative sources of energy from sunlight, water, and wind — but how about blood? An inventor by the name of Jim Mielke has created a bluetooth-ready, wireless, blood-fueled display that uses tiny microscopic spheres, somewhat similar to tattoo ink, to display images. Here’s how it works:
The basis of the 2×4-inch “Digital Tattoo Interface” is a Bluetooth device made of thin, flexible silicon and silicone. It´s inserted through a small incision as a tightly rolled tube, and then it unfurls beneath the skin to align between skin and muscle. Through the same incision, two small tubes on the device are attached to an artery and a vein to allow the blood to flow to a coin-sized blood fuel cell that converts glucose and oxygen to electricity. After blood flows in from the artery to the fuel cell, it flows out again through the vein.
While inserting anything under my skin makes me somewhat squeamish, for those with tattoos — the ability to erase your ex-girlfriend’s name in favor a new one might be a God send. It gets better though — the top surface also enables touch-screen control. Check your forearm for incoming calls or get an update on the weather. As long as the blood is flowing, the display can communicate with other wireless bluetooth devices outside or within the body. Tap a small dot on your skin to make the whole thing disappear. Cool, right?
While the potential for entertainment purposes is huge, first and foremost is the ability to monitor health and blood disorders. While only still a concept, this could prove to be an invaluable resource for those with diabetes and other diseases. I’m just curious to know where they’ll put the headphone jack…