The new buzz about cell phones

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If there were a contest for the strangest patent applications, then Finnish phone giant Nokia would surely have to be a good candidate for the winner after having filed a US patent application for a magnetic vibrating tattoo.

According to the US patent application, the Finnish firm is proposing, “a material attachable to skin, the material capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, where in the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field”. Alternatively, to put it another way, a tattoo that vibrates whenever your new or old cell phone rings.

The magnetic field would be able to interact with the tattoo and thus cause it to vibrate in a particular way. The company’s reasoning is that in the same manner of people assigning different ringtones to different callers, in the future a cell phone could send out a different kind of magnetic field depending on the identity of the caller. The magnetic field could also be sent out if you receive an SMS message, or even if the cell phone battery low is beginning to run dangerously low.

Nor does it necessarily have to be a tattoo, either as the application also talks about a badge, although it is obvious that a great deal of thought has been put into how to actually embed the thing, with talk of using “ink enriched by ferromagnetic or paramagnetic compounds” and how that could be applied.