Friday, October 15, 2010

Dattoos and Travel

Imagine a world where you no longer need a wallet, smart-card, keys, bank-card, mobile; even laptop! Once viewed from this angle, Frog Design's dattoos, or interface-enabled printable tattoos, can seem like a huge jump in user-interface technologies. Gizmodo 10 November 2009

According to Frog Design Dattoos promise:
DNA-reader and identification technology; nanosensors and interactive "touch reading" for finger tips (Braille); pattern and image recognition; self-learning and educational applications; living materials that change shape and feel; flexible OLED displays; full voice interaction, directional laser speakers; bionic nano chips; and cyborg components.
Sure, it would make life easier not to have to carry a slew of objects all the time. And the benefits in terms of security surely outweigh any negatives, for instance arms scrawled with designer ink. Indeed bloggers seem to love the idea of crossing fashion with technology. Tom's Guide 26 August 2010 But what are the implications for travel?

We need to talk here about smart cards. The idea of a one-stop-shop for transport ticketing is the holy grail of intelligent infrastructure, but has only been adopted by a handful of world cities. Many have been beset by contract disputes, operational and privacy issues, and of course funding problems. But what if, instead of printing out a boarding pass on paper, you simply stuck it to your arm? More ambitious possibilities could be surfing the web, booking tickets, and checking timetables on a digital display tattooed on your arm. Ergonomic? Perhaps not, but certainly not such a dead-weight in your pocket as a smart-phone.

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