Google seeks patent for lie-detecting neck tattoo

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

You Got To Be Shitting Me Entry #85

November 13, 2013

Reuters / Chris Helgren

Google has applied for a patent for a temporary neck tattoo that would emit an electronic signal capable of connecting to a mobile device and working as a lie detector.

Motorola Mobility, which is owned by Google, has submitted an  application for what is effectively an adhesive device “that  compromises an electronic skin tattoo capable of being applied to  a throat region of the body.”

While a low percentage of patents ever become actual products,  the intent behind this latest filing appears to be to allow a  person to wear the tattoo on their neck while keeping their  mobile device in their pocket. The temporary tattoo would  transmit the conversation from the individual’s mouth to the  mobile phone, for example, and could make it easier for them to  communicate hands-free.

The patent filing suggests the device would be used by security  teams working in noisy atmospheres or by undercover police who  would need to hide their communication devices.

Mobile communication devices are often operated in noisy  environments,” the document states. “For example, large  stadiums, busy streets, restaurants, and emergency situations can  be extremely loud and include varying frequencies of acoustic  noise. Communication can reasonably be improved and even enhanced  with a method and system for reducing the acoustic noise in such  environments and contexts.”

The filing also notes the possibility that the technology will  not be exclusive to humans. “Here it is contemplated that the  electronic tattoo can be applied to an animal as well. Audio  circuitry can also include a microphone for emitting sound  corresponding to fluctuations of muscle or tissue in the  throat.”

The new idea is already taking on the same criticisms that Google  Glass has struggled against – that it is simply too invasive for  those who do not want to participate. Yet some critics have said  this technology would go even further than Google Glass, by  containing a “galvanic” barometer – a reference to measuring  skin’s natural electricity.

Optionally, the electronic skin tattoo can further include a  galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a  user,” the patent application reads. “It is contemplated  that a user may be nervous or engaging in speaking in falsehoods  may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more  confident, truth telling individual.” The tattoo would  therefore serve a similar purpose as a polygraph machine.

Power for the tattoo would come from a variety of sources,   “solar panel technology, capacitive technology,  nanotechnology, or electro-mechanical technology” among them.

Although reluctance to the product was expected, social media and  the blogosphere met the news with practicality, suggesting the  lie-detection could be beneficial.

They could run a few tests on this patch in Washington  DC,” one commenter wrote. “Require one on the forehead of  every politician.”

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