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tech tats

november 2015

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 over 15 million views on Facebook, Vimeo and Youtube combined. 

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