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Animated Tattoos

Everyone's going to say "Baked - The Illustrated Man," but here goes…
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The technology's not quite in place yet, but idea concerns a computer-controlled system whereby a series of images is rapidly rendered on the skin and immediately erased via lasers. Each image is slightly different then the next, the effect being animation.
snarfyguy, Aug 09 2001

The latest on tattoos. http://news.bbc.co....1444000/1444968.stm
I particularly like the penultimate para. [angel, Aug 09 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

US Patent 5,638,832 http://patft.uspto....&Query=PN%2F5638832
Programmable subcutaneous visible implant. (No lasers though. I really don't think the laser part is going to fly.) [jutta, Aug 09 2001]

A precedent from the Marx Brothers http://www.anycities.com/lydiaolydia/
Maybe Lydia used lasers to get her flag tattoo to wave. [robinism, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Glucose tattoo idea http://www.halfbake...0Indicator_20Tattoo
Seagull, someone has already halfbaked (and baked, see links on the page) that one. [evilmathgenius, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

How Stuff Works: Animated Tattoos http://people.howst...animated-tattoo.htm
Pssst... April fool's! [jutta, Apr 05 2006]

Digital tattoo interface http://www.core77.c...gets/projects/4673/
A touch-screen cell-phone display implanted under the skin [angel, Feb 28 2008]

E-ink tattoos http://mytattooink....onic-ink-tattoo.htm
Zen tattoo a bye bye [bonkers777, Dec 31 2008]

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       Lasers produce heat, to burn away the tattoo pigment. Some of that heat will be transferred to the skin. You'd probably be quite uncomfortable after a very few frames.   

       As an alternative, I'll shamelessly plug my Electronic Ink Tattoos, on this very site.
protean, Aug 09 2001
  

       Erased via lasers? Where from?
jutta, Aug 09 2001
  

       Perhaps a peacetime use for a "Star Wars" missile defense system?
beauxeault, Aug 09 2001
  

       I imagine a subcutaneous nano-laser system sweeping back and forth below the tattooed area, alternating with the apparatus's rendering element. It would alternate between rendering slightly different images and wiping them, kind of like windshield wipers.
snarfyguy, Aug 09 2001
  

       "Baked - The Illustrated Man".
The Military, Aug 10 2001
  

       I think that if you can have lasers sweeping through the skin N times per second, you should just project the image on the skin using the laser, and ignore the tattoo part. Same visual effect, except it glows!
wiml, Sep 10 2001
  

       How many times have you had (what you hope are) laser pens pointed at you while out and about? 5 or 6 for me...
thumbwax, Mar 29 2002
  

       several dozen times, but no big deal. They're all around 2-5 mW, and can't cause any permanent damage.
Macwarrior, Feb 04 2003
  

       I think he meant the type of beam where the next thing that happens is you get shot by a high tech gun with one of those laser scope things.
snarfyguy, Feb 04 2003
  

       Not sure about the choice of technology, but I like the concept.
tsuchan, Jun 25 2003
  

       Artificial skin is a prerequisite to this. But, LCD membranes are becoming thinner and thinner these days, and eventually you will be able to slap on a patch that looks very much like a Band-Aid, that can have moving pictures on it.
phundug, Jun 25 2003
  

       I thought of lasers, imagining they could erase each successive image by burning off a thin layer of skin. I guess before long you wouldn't have much skin left, though, so the artifical stuff makes sense.
snarfyguy, Jun 25 2003
  

       Um, Tellytubbies?
Loris, Jun 26 2003
  

       If we're assuming nanotechnology, why not just have a bunch of nano-LEDs under the skin?
phoenix, Jun 26 2003
  

       I never should have said "nano" anything, since that technology is still theoretical.   

       Micro? :)
snarfyguy, Jun 26 2003
  

       How about just projecting the images as on the opening title sequences for From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and Octopussy?
supercat, Jun 26 2003
  

       Ya know, they have discovered how to derive power directly from glucose(yes using nano-tec!). So why not use the power to control some LCD material installed in the skin? I'ld hate to consdier wiring such a thing up under the skin! eek!
arilea, Jul 24 2004
  

       No, they'd just know how much glucose you have.
angel, Jul 26 2004
  

       Which brings up an interesting use - diabetics. Perhaps a cutaneous LCD or micro-LED display could be devised to show by color or by indicator bar the current level of blood glucose, making it unnecessary to prick oneself multiple times per day...   

       What was that show... "Quicksilver"? Where the guy's tattoo showed the level of enzyme in his system and he'd die or something if it ran out?... Kinda like that. (Yes, late-night TV...)   

       Just brainstormin' out loud here...
seagull25920, Jul 26 2004
  

       (Linky)
angel, Feb 28 2008
  

       This is doable. There was once (and maybe still is) a proposal for electronic paper. It involved small capsules containing a clear (or maybe white) gel and coloured particles. An electric field was used to move the coloured particles to one side of the capsules, so they'd appear black. Reversing the field would move them to the opposite side ("inside" the paper) making that area appear white.   

       I see no reason why this couldn't be done using very small (tens of microns) capsules and ferrous particles which could be moved using a powerful magnet. You could embed the particles in the skin in much the same way as normal ink using a tattoo needle, and then write and erase the images using a magnetic head.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2008
  
      
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