Debrief Staff | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Apparently Talking Tattoos Are Now A Thing

Apparently Talking Tattoos Are Now A Thing

The Debrief: Tattoos that really speak to you

LA based start-up Skin Motion are developing Soundwave Tattoos: augmented reality tattoos that you scan with an app which plays an audio recording. The Skin Motion founder, Nate Siggard, created the first audio tattoo of his 4-month-old saying ‘I love you’ and shared it on Facebook. After going viral, he filed a patent and Soundwave Tattoos went into development.

For the moment, sound clips can be up to one minute, but apart from that, the options are pretty much endless. Maybe like Siggard, you could get a recording of a relative. Instead of song lyrics (or a celeb portrait, if that’s your thing) you could get an audio clip instead. Not into music? Skin Motion’s Customer Support, Juliana, got one of her dog singing instead.  

The idea behind it actually sounds pretty simple; record a clip then upload it onto the app or website, which generates the soundwave form. Once you have that, a licensed Skin Motion Artist can do the ink, then take a photo and upload it onto the Skin Motion network. Then the process is pretty much the same as scanning a QR code: the app uses your phone camera to match up the tattoo with the saved photo and plays back the audio.

And if you already have a regular sound wave tattoo? Skin Motion are working on it. Whilst not part of the original plan, according to their FAQs there’s still a lot of testing to be done, but it’s in the works.

The internet is pretty sceptical though, so much so that Skin Motion have started making Youtube videos showing how the tech works. Some commenters still aren’t convinced – it’s difficult to prove that they’re not just be playing the audio in the background without giving away too much about the technology behind it. But if you can have virtual reality nail art and art exhibits, why not audio tattoos?

Image courtesy of Skin Motion

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