Wearable Technology x Body Capacitance x Zero UI x Research
Tech Tats were the final iteration in a body of research I did titled Unconventional Methods For Creating Computational Hardware. The project was an attempt to create a new form of interaction beyond the devices we normally use: smartphone, smartwatch, computer. It was designed to be a platform, something I could take to companies and grow a product out of the original design.
In early 2014, I was exploring body capacitance and the potential change in social interactions resulting. How would a user transfer data simply through being or touching a static object? What does the user interface look like when there is no user interface? And what are the boundaries that hold us between form and function? I knew I wanted to break the barriers of hardware design in some sense and bring a new form of creation to the public's eye, making the seemingly impossible, possible.
The final iteration was an ATtiny84 microcontroller built into a 4-layer temporary tattoo circuit sticker; the first layer being adhesive, the second layer copper traces, the third layer insulating adhesive, and the final layer paint/ink with the components affixed throughout. I explored several options for generating the flexible circuit in a lab environment, eventually settling on a laser-etched Pyralux with a Ferric Chloride bath. This allowed me to create large sheets, through a relatively fast process.
Tech Tats went viral with over 100,000 publications worldwide and half a million video views on Vimeo and Youtube combined.