A refreshingly cool temporary tattoo that puts a track pad, NFC communicator and digital storage on the surface of your skin.

Temporary tattoos are making a comeback, and not via your cereal box as you might have expected circa 1997. Nope, they’re actually legitimate accessories these days (see Topshop’s range). And thanks to these new DuoSkin tats, they can be computers too. Wait…what?

Nope, we pinched ourselves and we’re definitely not dreaming. Your next temporary tattoo might just turn your arm into a second phone screen.

The creation of a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in collaboration with Microsoft Research, DuoSkin tattoos are gold leaf temporary tats that can make your skin crawl (in a good way) with all kinds of digital power.

Depending on how they’re configured, DuoSkin tattoos can perform three clever functions. Firstly, as an array of buttons, a slider or a 2D trackpad for controlling the other screens and gadgets in your life. This kind of DuoSkin tattoo involves two layers of metallic leaf that enables vertical and horizontal swiping.

DuoSkin tattoo

A dual layered DuoSkin tattoo lets you swipe your arm like a second phone screen

Secondly, as an indicator of body temperature. This is by way of thermochromatic pigments that change colour when your body temperature changes. Kind of of like a mood tattoo, which is cool, and in keeping with the ’90s vibe.

And thirdly, NFC communicators to let you transfer data between gadgets. Just think of your body as a giant USB stick you don’t have to plug in…if you can.

DuoSkin temporary tattoo necklace

A DuoSkin necklace incorporates twinkling LEDs for a more eye-catching temporary tattoo

The aim with DuoDkin is that you’ll be able to pen your own tattoo design using software, print it, and transfer it onto your skin just like the slap-on affairs you pulled out of your box of Rice Krispies back in the day.

However, whether that will be through an app or a computer, and exactly what you’ll use to print your tattoo, isn’t yet clear; DuoSkin is still a concept for now, and there’s no word on whether it’s going to be available to buy. Look out for updates here.