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Motorola patents microphone throat tattoo

Sweet microphone transceiver and power supply neck tat, man. Google subsidiary Motorola has applied for a patent for an electronic skin tattoo that acts as a mobile communication device.

This isn't your usual parlour inking, though. The tattoo, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office application, can include an embedded microphone, a near field communication (NFC) transceiver, and a power supply.

As the wearer speaks, the throat-printed tattoo streams the audio to a controller, which then transfers it to the accompanying mobile communication device — a.k.a. your smartphone, gaming device, tablet, or, say, Google Glass.

Motorola's concept gives new meaning to wearable tech, and certainly eliminates the need to continuously swap hands holding a phone up to your ear. But the permanent, and presumably expensive and painful, artwork is probably not the first accessory on most mobile users' list.

Details about the electronic skin tattoo remain scarce, including whether or not this is a concept the phone maker eventually plans to mass market. But the patent app tips the possibility of a signal from the mobile device or the NFC conductor to power the throat-embedded battery.

Additional preferences, like being able to mute the signal so it doesn't react to every guttural noise, are discussed in the patent, as well as individual tattoo identifications, useful in a group setting where multiple users are wearing a communicable throat tat.

Motorola declined to comment on the filing.

Outside of science fiction tales, Motorola isn't the first to experiment with permanent communication services. In February 2011, Nokia applied for a patent for a magnetic tattoo that would generate a tingling feeling in your arm when your phone rings.

Image: Flickr (scott_bl8ke)