With mobile phones dominating our lives these days, we seem constantly connected virtually yet ever more easily disconnected in person. To limit this intrusion of mobile distraction from our daily face-to-face connections, a company called Vitamins Design has developed two interesting concepts—Smart Call and SkinDisplay. The latter concept involves printing messages directly on to your skin.
The two projects are sponsored by Research in Motion (RIM)—makers of the BlackBerry—and the Royal College of Art’s Helen Hamlyn Center. The first concept, SmartCall, allows callers to indicate the urgency, subject, and deadline to respond for their calls. Although still an initial concept, RIM is already seeking to patent the idea for development.
The seemingly more outlandish concept, SkinDisplay, actually requires a physical mechanism on a phone that could translate digital code into small raised messages on the phone’s surface. By then pressing your finger against the raised message you could then imprint the message temporarily onto your skin.
When you get a call during an important business meeting, you can simply reach into your pocket and imprint the caller ID on your finger without ever taking out the phone and risk being impolite.
And apparently with developments in piezoelectric technology, where electricity can deform a material, and the reverse, the SkinDisplay concept may not be as impossible as it seems.