Nokia doesn’t just beat a tattoo… it also wants you to call one

I have been on holiday for a week in the north of Tenerife with my wife and little boy. I’ve been swimming in the pool, playing tennis, driving in search of an English newspaper and enjoying peace before the inevitable return to the world of stress and anger.

Such early summers feel dream-like at times so when I saw a nib* in The Times this evening it was hard to know whether the newspaper was in my dream or whether my dream was in the newspaper. It wasn’t a case of you couldn’t make it up, more a case of something that I thought that I’d made up.

Apparently ex-wood pulp manufacturer and one-time global handset behemoth Nokia has applied for a US patent for a ‘skin notification system’. Effectively this is a minute vibrating device that uses a special ink and is embedded into a tattoo. Using a Bluetooth connection that tattoo will vibrate whenever there is an incoming call.

I nearly choked into my paella, chundered into my patatas bravas and suffocated on my empanadas. I knew things weren’t as they were at Nokia and the Lumia isn’t the worst handset, but a vibrating tattoo?

Naturally my first thoughts were of that wonderful invention (for women, I think, but internal vibration is a broad church nowadays) released a few years ago that only started when a phone call was received.

I was a big fan (from a distance) of the Bluetooth Vibrator because of its strapline (er-hum) that described it as ‘joy for tech-savvy ladies’, but I thought such extraordinary innovation had passed us by… obviously Nokia would appear to think differently.

The mind naturally boggles, but as a party trick it would pay, rather like car-park crime, on so many levels. Further improvements on the ‘invention’ such as ringtones would augment the possibilities and I would be happy to connect my piece to such technology.

Back in the real world, however, another type of ‘skin notification system’ is being brought to my attention and that is my red-raw nose and forehead after being out in the sun too long.

So I, and my non-connected tattoo, bid you farewell as I vamos a la playa.

Monty (713 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.