Go on. Take a moment to let that sink in.
Ostensibly, the purpose behind the patent, titled " Coupling an Electronic Skin Tattoo to a Mobile Device," is "reducing acoustic noise with an auxiliary voice input." In other words, affixing a microphone directly to the throat could be a way to eliminate the problem of background noise.
The "tattoo" isn't actually ink under the skin but would be applied to a sticky substance on the skin.
It could also create the ultimate hands-free system, programmed to respond to many different audio sources, from specific words to vocal intonation, or even a certain melody or harmonic tone.
Coincidentally, the patent application notes, it could also 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" -- a change in the electrical resistance of the skin that is a physiochemical response to increased sympathetic nervous system activity -- "than a more confident, truth telling individual."
The patent application, which goes on for more than 4,000 words and 10 pages, explains that the device would have a display and a user interface, and could receive power from a variety of methods including "solar panel technology, capacitive technology, nanotechnology, or electro-mechanical technology." It also notes that if the tattoo thing doesn't work out, the device could take the form of "a collar or band that would be worn around the throat [of] a user."
Because who doesn't love the idea of a lie-detecting collar tying us to our mobile phone? Certainly nothing could go wrong there.
One hopes that Google's "do no evil" philosophy would prevent it from turning this technology into something out of Orwell's "1984" dystopian future, but perhaps it was merely fibbing?
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