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Are 'Tech Tats' the Next Wave of Fitness Trackers?

Chaotic Moon

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is fairly simple—but that doesn't mean it's easy. And perhaps one of the most frustrating parts is not knowing how a particular diet or exercise is really affecting your body. Of course, fitness trackers can help, but they can get lost or broken—and sometimes they're just not all that accurate. What we really need: a little computer screen on our skin that tells us exactly what's going on in our bodies. Even better, what if that little computer was also beautiful, like body art? Well, prepare yourselves: That dream may some day be a reality. (You could also try the Workout Clothes That Double as Wearable Tech.)

Texas-based tech company Chaotic Moon Studios recently announced that they've developed "tech tattoos"—semi-permanent biometric devices that can be tattooed onto your skin—that combine all the functionality of a fitness tracker with the beauty of body art. It works by embedding tiny computer chips into a slightly raised tattoo, which the company says would then be capable of monitoring everything from step counts to workout times. And because they're on your skin, they could also track your blood sugar, heart rate, body temperature, and metabolism.

"This is going beyond what the fitness tracker is. This is something you can put on your body once a year that monitors everything [a clinic] would do in a physical, and sends that to your doctor. If there's an issue, they could just call you," Eric Schneider, creative technologist for Chaotic Moon, explained. He added that, theoretically, the tech tats could go beyond health-related data and be used to pinpoint a person's location, act as a virtual wallet, and integrate with home and car automation systems. (If that sounds crazy, imagine that Instead of Wearing the Next Jawbone Fitness Tracker, You'll Swallow It.)

But if opening your garage door or tracking your calories by pressing your arm feels too invasive, no worries—the tattoos are totally removable. Tech geeks hoping to get their hands (or skin) on one may have to wait a bit too. But according to Chaotic Moon, the company has working prototypes and big plans to bring the product to market.

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