Finnish cell phone maker Nokia has filed a U.S. patent application for a magnetic vibrating tattoo that could wirelessly connect to a mobile device and alert users of phone calls, texts and battery status–all via vibration.
The apparatus comprises “a material attachable to skin, the material capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field.”
Diagrams in the patent show examples of the small, square gadget as applicable to a user’s arm, abdominal area or fingernail.
For those wary of an actual tattoo, the patent says the device could potentially be stamped, sprayed, attached with adhesive tape, applied as a decal or even drawn on.
The object could emit different vibrations for “an alert of a message, indication of an incoming call, indication of a body part in proximity of the electronic device, indication of information displayed on the electronic device, indication of a launch of an application and indication of a least a portion of a displayed image.”
A magnetic field originating from the electronic device would connect to the tattoo device.
The electronic devices may include a cell phone, laptop, music player, tablet, a wrist or neck warn electronic device or a game console, according to the patent.
While the patent does not explain the benefits such a device could provide, one can imagine that it could eliminate the stress of situations where phone ringing is frowned upon—church, theater, work—and the vibrate setting often leads to missed calls. Conversely, the device could lead to an even more intimate, and not necessarily healthy, with cell phones that would become truly omnipresent.
Nokia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the patent.