Tattoos, But Now They’re Good For You
To me, tattoos have always seemed like this theoretically cool thing that I would love to get. You know, sometime in the future, hypothetically speaking. But if I had the option to get a magical, vanishing tattoo that made me feel like a spy from Harry Potter, then I think my theoretical musings would become much more concrete in a very short period of time.
And now, thanks to the smarties down at the University of Colorado in Boulder, that particular fantasy of mine might not actually be far off! According to CBS News, Carson Bruns, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at CU, is working on a series of tattoos that will materialize or vanish when exposed to certain phenomena. For instance, the tattoo Bruns says is the farthest along right now uses a UV sensitive dye that appears when you’re getting a bit too much sun. Then the “smart ink” magically fades again once you put on sunscreen. Not bad, science, not bad. If they can save us from having that tacky, sticky sunscreen feeling more than we need to while ALSO not waiting too long and regretting all our life choices once a nasty sunburn appears, then I applaud them.
But wait, there’s more! Bruns is also working on developing tattoos that could help diagnose diseases, detect blood sugar levels or even your blood alcohol content. So one day, you could get a tattoo that says “Go home, Matt, you’re drunk” with Uber’s phone number beneath it, and it would only appear when you needed it most. Truly, we’re living in the future.
Although it will likely be years before Bruns’ dyes are ready for human testing, he recently decided to be the first person to receive a “tech tattoo.” There are still many safety tests to complete, but Bruns is looking forward to the day when we can marry safety with self-expression.
I, too, am excited for the day when I can tattoo a secret deathly hallows symbol on my arm to remind me to wear sunscreen.