Google’s Motorola Mobility division has filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a “system and method” to tattoo a mobile-device microphone with lie-detector circuitry onto your throat.
The next must-have bit of body adonment for the digital hipster?
Your immediate response, dear reader, was ours as well: What the...? With such a device tattooed on one’s throat, it would make it rather painful to, say, switch carriers, eh? And with a lie detector permanently attached, NSA snoops could have a field day.
It wasn’t until we had read at least halfway through the 10 pages of US Patent Application No. 20130297301, “Coupling an Electronic Skin Tattoo to a Mobile Device” that we encountered the words “flexible substrate”.
(...) The device in question could also be configured to transmit commands to your phone, also useful in a noisy environment and when one’s hands are full. Power for the device could be supplied by a variety of methods, including “solar panel technology, capacitive technology, nanotechnology, or electro-mechanical technology.”
The tattoo could also be programmed to respond to a variety of audio sources, including “a user’s vocal intonation ... a specific word or words ... a melody ... or a harmonic tone/vibration,” and in response to those inputs send a variety of notifications or commands to the user’s mobile device.
Also, one envisioned embodiment wouldn’t be an electronic throat tattoo at all, but instead “a collar or band that would be worn around the throat [of] a user.” Even better.
(...) And then there’s the lie-detector feature. “Optionally,” the filing muses, “the electronic skin tattoo can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user. It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual.”
Thank you very much, but if I want to phone my boss to say I’m home sick with the flu when I’m actually kicking back with a cheap hard-boiled detective novel and a pint or two of Arrogant Bastard, I don’t want my phone ratting on me.
(...) Finally, one small detail: nowhere in the 4,000-plus word filing does the word “remove” appear.