Just after the invention of mood ring in 1975, there is a lot that has happened in the world of Tattoos. The common mechanism of this mood ring was to change the color of the tattoo as per the temperature of the body. In better words, this mood ring had the ability to portray the emotions of a person. This is where Smart tattoos first came into existence. These tattoos where used to monitor the emotions and vital signs of the human body. But, the one major issue that this tattoo faced was getting the required amount of power supply to change the color as per the mood of human being. Joseph Wang a researcher from USCD acknowledged this problem in a wise manner. By stating that, this equipment can be charged without the use of any external power source. This can be done by harnessing electrons from the lactate acid that is secreted along with the sweat of the human body. This was an astounding idea and it evolved from an interesting concept that is exhaustion, which is caused by any human body when it undergoes strenuous exercise.
Working of the Smart Tattoos
As mentioned earlier, the essential component that is crucial for the working of Smart Tattoos is human sweat. Now, sweat is secreted by the body when the temperature of the body increases more than the normal temperature. This often happens when you
exercise, walk or even stand under the sun. When the temperature of the body increases then it starts burning the muscle fat that is present in the body. This muscle fat undergoes constant oxidation, which increases your need for oxygen. Then, with continuous oxidation taking place the muscles break down and give out lactate as a byproduct. This lactate usually comes out from the body along with the sweat salts. This lactate comes in contact with the sensors that are present in the Tattoos. The tattoo is well embedded with constricted nanotubes sensors that enzymatically sense lactates from the sweat. This byproduct is now induced by the tattoo is create at least 70 microwatts of energy per cm2 of skin, with the help of lactate reaction enzymes that are present across the tattoos. Moreover, lactate is even reckoned to be a skin based power station that is used for this amazing process.
Can this Energy Charge your Phone?
Absolutely not! The charge that is induced from the Smart tattoos is not that much that it can charge your phone or laptops. This can be considered as a minute charge that gets used up by the tattoo in just a fraction of second. This clearly means that to make sure that your mood ring works well all day long you are going to need tons of lactate that could produce electricity for the tattoo. So, for obtaining the right amount of electrical energy for the tattoo one has to perform strenuous exercise for at least 4-5 hours so that they can create ample amount of lactate for the mood ring.
Advantages of Smart Tattoo
- Can be fixed as a temporary tattoo on the body
- Application of this tattoo allows the people to perform regular exercise so as to charge.
- The sensors are quite small and amalgamate with the tattoo itself
- This can be used to run a watch too as mostly watch need at least 10 microwatts to run properly.
- Its eco-friendly hence does not leave back any carbon footprint.
- A functional device measures the amount of current lactate present in the body.
Disadvantages of Smart Tattoo
- The tattoo cannot be fixed as a permanent tattoo.
- It is unable to charge larger device like Smartphone or laptops.
- The engineering concept that is used in its making is complex.
- The tattoo will only work after strenuous exercise.
- The interaction of glycolysis leads to loss of energy in the body.
Future Developments of Smart Tattoos
Other than charging the simple mood ring tattoos researches are working on enhancing the potential of the tattoos so that it can be able to charge large scale devices at an efficient manner. Along with that, studies have been laid to make these sensors more efficient so that the device will be able to function using a little amount of lactate too, unlike the huge amount of lactate that is used by the current smart tattoo. This will mean that the tattoo will easily get charged up only when you sweat for just a few seconds, such as while using stairs or just walking. People are high anticipating that day, when scientists will bring a modern touch to this watch by making it appropriate for charging the daily use gadgets so that it can be a innovate idea to change the future.