Motorola Seeks Patent for Mic Tattooed to Throat; Could Light Up When Person Lies

November 11, 2013 - 3:40 PM

Throat mic

Motorola has applied for a patent for a tiny microphone that is tattooed to users' throats. (AP graphic)

(CNSNEWS.com) –  First there were Google Glasses, which allow wearers to view a tiny computer hidden in a futuristic-style headset without having to pick up a smartphone.

Google-owned Motorola has also applied for a patent for a tiny wireless microphone tattooed to users’ throats that can be programmed to light up when they are lying.

Motorola Mobility, Inc. of Libertyville, Ill. filed the patent application for an “electronic skin tattoo capable of being applied to a throat region of a body. The electronic skin tattoo can include an embedded microphone, a transceiver for enabling wireless communication with the MCD (mobile communication device), and a power supply configured to receive signals from a personal area network associated with the MCD.”

The tattoo mics, which will come with a micro signal processor that screens out other noises, will be powered by either rechargeable batteries or a miniature solar panel, according to the application, which was filed in May of 2012 and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) on Nov. 7th.

A controller “can be configured to execute programs or instructions to enable communicative coupling of the electronic tattoo to external electronic devices such as a smartphone, a gaming device, a tablet computer, [or] a wearable computer,” according to the patent application.

Google Glasses

Woman wearing Google Glasses (AP photo)

Additional nano-circuitry will make them capable of “analog-to-digital conversion” and “data compression” as well.

But that’s not the only potential application of the tattooed mic as imagined by its creators. The gizmo could also be programmed to light up whenever the user says a certain word or pattern of words:

“It is also contemplated that the display may be instructed by the processor to illuminate visually upon the electronic skin tattoo meeting a criteria, recognizing a voice pattern, or surpassing a frequency threshold. That is a certain word can be spoken that will enable the display to illuminate when the electronic skin tattoo senses the pattern or frequency corresponding to the spoken word or utterance.”

Or whenever the user is not telling the truth:

“Optionally, the electronic skin tattoo can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user. It is contemplated that a user that may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual.”

Motorola spokeswoman Danielle McNally declined to answer any questions about potential abuse of the device or when throat mics might be commercially available. “We won’t be providing any comments on the filing. Thank you,” she said in a text message to CNSNews.com.