Nokia Is Itching to Get Under Your Skin

Don't you hate it when you turn off the ringer on your cellphone so as not to disturb others but then miss an important call because the phone's vibrator just didn't have enough oomph? Well, darn it, Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) is one phone company that plans on doing something about it, though the company's solution is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- rather bizarre.

First spotted by Unwired News, Nokia's U.S. Patent Application 20120062371, filed on March 15 of this year, describes the cellphone maker's technique for tattooing a vibrating device into the skin of a cell phone user:

"A material may be used for creating an image on a surface, for example on skin. The material, attachable to skin, may be an image, a tattoo. ... The material may react when a magnetic field ... is in the proximity of the image. The reaction may be causing or transferring a perceivable stimulus. The perceivable stimulus may comprise vibration, a vibration on the image on a user's skin, for example."

Resistance is futile
Is this the first step to becoming a member of the Borg, the part organic, part machine humanoid life from from Star Trek: The Next Generation? Or is it just the beginnings of a diabolically brilliant plot to minimize mobile carrier churn rates by literally making phones inseparable from customers?

What would Jobs do?
Will Apple and Samsung become embroiled in future patent wars involving implantable user interfaces? Those companies have been going head-to-head over just about everything, including the look of their respective tablets, which, it turns out, was first envisioned in the Stanley Kubrick classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

And what about Google? That company already targets ads for us by reading our Gmail. Could it be working on a way for its Android smartphone operating system to read galvanic skin responses from metallic tattoos, passing that information on to advertisers also? I suppose Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) could also do the same with its Windows Phone, the operating system that runs Nokia's Lumia line of smartphones.

The future is now
Nokia's patent application may or may not be approved by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, but there is no doubt that smartphone use has been exploding. There is one company that makes a device so essential to smartphone manufacturing that The Motley Fool feels it is a leader in what will become the next trillion-dollar revolution. Don't miss out on this opportunity! Register for this report today! It is totally free!

Fool contributor Dan Radovsky owns shares in Nokia. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nokia, Google, Microsoft, and Apple, as well as creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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