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15 May, 2017 16:48

Artist develops ‘soundwave’ tattoos to immortalize voices of nearest & dearest

Artist develops ‘soundwave’ tattoos to immortalize voices of nearest & dearest

A US tattoo artist has come up with a novel way of helping the bereaved remember lost loved ones – inking an image of a soundwave of their voice right onto their skin.

Los Angeles-based body artist Nate Siggard has developed Skin Motion, an app which creates designs of people’s audio waves known as ‘Soundwave Tattoos’ which can later be read and played back via smartphone. And as the firm begins accepting enquiries ahead of its launch next month, a majority are said to have been about preserving the voices of people who have passed on.

“Have you lost a loved one that you would like to memorialize forever in a way that you can tell their story and share it with the world?” their website asks.

Customers can record a message on an app which then generates a picture of the audio waves for a Skin Motion-certified tattoo artist to ink – a technician who, the firm says, must also have a good bedside manner.

“The majority of people who are interested in getting Soundwave Tattoos have lost a family member or loved one,” Skin Motion said in a statement. “They require and deserve the highest level of compassionate care through the tattooing process in order to aid in the catharsis that comes from their experience.”

Despite a licensing cost of up to $1,000-a-year, the company says it has registered tattoo artists from more than 14 different countries. The firm plans to release a full registry of around 100 certified tattoo artists later this month.

Video of Siggard’s own ‘augmented reality tattoo’ went viral after it was posted online last month. However, some believed his tattoo, a soundwave of his partner Juliana and their four-month-old son saying “I love you”, was a hoax.

Responding in a video on his website, Siggard said: “A lot of you have been asking whether or not it's real so I wanted to give you an example to show that it is.

“The app's in development right now, it'll be done in about a month.

“We're excited for everyone who is looking forward to getting one, so check it out. It's definitely real and it's coming soon.”

Juliana, too, has got in on the act, with a recording of her dog’s howl tattooed on her forearm.

On-skin tech is growing in recent times. Last month, a team at Germany’s Saarland University announced that they had developed temporary electronic tattoos that can turn wrinkles and freckles into touch-sensitive smartphone controls.

The technology, known as SkinMarks, allows users to increase the volume of music by sliding a finger across a tattoo, or change functions on their phone by touching their knuckle.

READ MORE: ‘Connected’ ink: Temporary tech tattoos transform skin into user interfaces (VIDEO)

Meanwhile an MIT and Microsoft research project called ‘DuoLink’ has developed an on-skin interface that can control devices like a smartphone, or store data.