MIT's and Microsoft's flash tattoos can control gadgets

The great news is, they actually look wearable.

Those stylish flash tattoos could do more than just look cool in the future. A team from MIT and Microsoft Research has developed a fabrication process called "DuoSkin," which can be used to make temporary metallic tattoos that double as on-skin interfaces. MIT Media Lab already demonstrated their capability in three different ways. First, they can be used for input to control mobile devices and computers, transforming your skin into a trackpad, a button or a slider. They can also be used to turn your skin into a display of sorts, changing colors based on your body temp. Finally, they can store data that phones and other NFC-enabled devices can read.

One of the team's lead researchers, Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, said DuoSkin tattoos are pretty easy to make. You can use any graphics software to create patterns for the circuit and simply slap on a gold leaf layer on top for conductivity. A lot of research teams besides Kao's are also developing high-tech temp tattoos, but these ones look like something people would actually love to wear. If you want to know more about DuoSkin than what the video below reveals, make sure to check out MIT's scientific paper on the project's official website.