Family. Your BFF. Animals. Miley Cyrus. Law & Order SVU creator and executive producer Dick Wolf. Tattoos are a way of expressing yourself and the things you care about, whatever those things may be. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words, particularly if it’s permanently etched on your body. But what if that picture could actually speak?
It sounds preposterous (and, let’s be real, it kind of is), but a new company called Skin Motion — and its promotional videos — say otherwise. According to its website, the “mobile application and artist platform network for augmented reality tattoos” was founded by Nate Siggard, a tattoo artist who claims to have invented a way to turn tattoos of soundwaves into… sound. “What is more personal, more permanent, and more meaningful than a tattoo?” the site asks. “A tattoo you can play back.”
After the app launches next month, according to Siggard, customers will be able to upload an audio clip to the app, purchase the resulting tattoo, and then get it tattooed by a Skin Motion-certified artist. Once that’s finished, you’ll be able to use the app on your phone to play up to a minute of the audio squiggles inked on your body, whatever sounds they may contain. Your dog’s bark? Your deceased grandmother telling you she loves you? (Bleak.) Your child’s laughter, like Siggard has already done? The choice is yours.
For anyone not interested in the willful suspension of disbelief, the natural reaction to these claims is that there’s no way they could be real. The YouTube clips provided are intended to disprove that theory — but couldn’t they just be playing the recorded audio back while holding a phone over the tattoo, no ground-breaking “technology” necessary? If that’s the case, then Skin Motion has devised a truly genius way of tricking unsuspecting people into paying to get a soundwave tattooed on their body and download a “special” app that plays a previously recorded sound. Evil, maybe, but genius.