Google Applies For Temporary Throat Tattoo Patent

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I, and others, have written ad nauseam about the privacy implications of Google Glass. This is not limited to the privacy of others that could be violated by those wearing Glass, but equally the privacy implications for the owner/wearer of Glass if Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is comfortably sharing that information with governmental organizations.

At the end of the day, however, technology won’t be slowed and those companies that focus tens or hundreds of millions on research and development will always need to patent their technologies.

Google’s patent application for electronic tattoo

Its with that caveat that I’m terrifically scared by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s patent application for a temporary electronic tattoo that would be placed on a user’s throat in order to gain connectivity via Bluetooth.

While it was Motorola Mobility that filed for a patent “that comprises an electronic skin tattoo capable of being applied to a throat region of a body,” I use Google synonymously with Motorola Mobility, YouTube and others.

Tattoo could be used as a lie detector

It’s only a matter of time before the Google Borg is voluntarily joined by millions. That said, there is a truly frightening dual-use application of the tattoo according: to the patent, the “tattoo” could be used as a lie detector.

“Optionally, the electronic skin tattoo can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user,” the 10-page document reads. “It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual.”

“Galvanic” is the word presently being bandied about to describe the surface conductivity of electricity, this includes human skin.

To look at the images from the patent application, the tattoo would be roughly the size of the iconic temporary tattoo that Cracker Jack boxes have included since the late 50’s.

Calls to become more clear

It’s possible from the patent application, that the use of this “tattoo” could make both incoming and outgoing audio clearer through the wearing of this biometric. That’s to suggest that you could hear incoming calls clearer or even listen to music without earphones. I’ve seen monkeys using tablets, it’s scary but the patent application takes this further saying “the electronic tattoo can also be applied to an animal as well.”

There is little question that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is on the forefront of wearable tech with Glass but they are clearly not finished there. It appears that Google Glass will involve an earpiece when it’s released to the public due to difficulties with bone-conduction sound system that Google had hoped to use.

Could this be the technology of the second(?) or third(?) iterations of Glass?

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at

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