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Vibrating tattoos might change the way we receive texts

Tattoos are about to get practical.

Nokia recently filed an application with the U.S. patent office, revealing its plans for a magnetic vibrating tattoo.

Read the application here.

The device comprises "a material attachable to skin, the material capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field."

So if all goes to Nokia's plan, individuals would have a "ferromagnetic" device tattooed — or stamped, drawn, sprayed or applied, for those of us with commitment issues when it comes to permanent ink — on their bodies. That device would be able to pick up a signal from a magnetic field (mobile devices) and then vibrate to alert the person of messages.

Yes, your skin would vibrate when you get a text, call, or when your battery's low.

"The magnetic field may cause vibration of one short pulse, multiple short pulses, few long pulses...strong pulses, weak pulses and so on," the BBC quotes from the patent application.

The patent application indicates that the square device could be applied almost anywhere: to an arm, abdominal area, or even fingernail.

Forbes points out that this technology could be useful for health and lifesaving purposes, and would like to see its purpose expanded to meet more important needs:

"I'd be very interested in a tattoo that monitors by blood sugar levels or other physiological factors and warns me when my blood sugar is getting too low or if I'm getting too stressed out. That's something that is a useful notification. An insulin pump is another important kind of implant. Getting notified of a phone call is not," Cyborg anthropologist Amber Case told the magazine.

Would you want your gut or bicep to vibrate with every received text message? Or, like NewsFeed, are you wary of "phantom vibration syndrome"?