tattoo ink      Electronic ink tattoos


  • can be switched on and off
  • reprogrammable images
  • can be animated
  • more precise designs



Technical specifications

An electronic ink display is a flexible matrix of pixels that can be switched on/off. Electrically charged capsules contain a suspension of black ink and skin colored inks, with each particle having an opposite charge, e.g., the black ink has a positive charge and the skin colored ink has a negative charge. Application of an electric charge causes each capsule to rotate and reveal the desired color. The animation is achieved by programing each capsules charge across a timeline. The skin colored ink is custom matched to achieve a seamless complement to varying skin tones.


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The tattoo shown above is the kanji character for Zen. It is pronounced as Ch'an, which is the Chinese spiritual practice that evolved into Japanese Zen. The particular animation depicts the symbol dissolving into nothingness; as such it represents the core zen notion that a symbol is just a pointer and not the real thing (i.e., like a finger pointing at the moon).