Let’s start things with some truth folks: No matter how tough, or deep, or angry you say you are, you’re not the first person to ever get a tattoo. No folks, despite what some angsty twenty-somethings will tell you, tattoos aren’t some new awesome thing that makes us different from the generations before us. They may be a little more acceptable now than they used to be, but people have been getting them for all sorts of reasons since about as far back as we’ve been able to trace life as a whole. For example: a corpse recovered from all the way back in the neolithic era was found to have preserved skin (it was recovered in a block of ice in 1991, right about the time every television show decided to feature frozen-caveman subplots), and on that skin were a few tattooed marks. The tats were apparently part of an old school acupuncture process, so they were used for healing rather than design, but that doesn’t make them”not tattoos”. The modern art of tattooing goes back to the Tahitian art of “Tatau”, and was brought into the “civilized” world by sailors who visited the island. That work, done with simple needles and hammers, evolved into what we have today with the advent of the double-coil tattoo gun in the late 1800s. It’s already evolved further, as ravers have been getting “invisible” black-light tattoos ( they get them for sho; they aren’t visible in daylight and show up glowing under black-lights) for years now, but where’s it all headed? Well, just like humanity, tattoos are still evolving folks, and just like us, they’re getting more and more tech savvy.
The future of tattoos, like the futures of us all, is one rooted in technological advancement. A few years back, Nokia patented a type of fero-magnetic ink that can be manipulated with magnetic fields. The ink reacts to cell signals and creates an effect where the tattooed feel their phones ringing through their skin. So yeah, that one is kind of useless for now, but other future tats are more helpful. For instance, the LED tattoos that are being developed with someday allow diabetics to get an on-the-body blood sugar reading, while “epidural electronic” technology will involve small electronics being “tattooed” into your skin and doing things like monitoring your heart or letting you know when you’re getting a sunburn. Basically, the important advancements in tattooing will be less tattoos, and more under-the-skin implants. There are other advancements in straight up body-art, but they mostly involve tats that move (like GIF images) and ink that shows up different on cell phone screens. These advancements are currently far too costly to go mainstream, so we expect medical tech tats to become popular long before traditional ink tattoos get replaced with fancy body cartoons.
Like all art and technology, tattoos are ever changing and always growing as a medium, but their beauty lies in their simplicity. In our humble opinions, even when the word “tattoo” starts to mean all sorts of different things in the future, there will still be plenty of people who just want to get regular old needlework done. However, one thing will change: new ink tech means that vegetable-based tats can be removed in as little as one laser session, and with almost no pain. So one thing will change: tats won’t be as permanent as they once were. Well, we guess tats won’t be forever anymore…but we still think that they’ll be around forever.