Why casinos might ban gamblers who have tatoos

A press release from Northwestern University almost hints at why gambling casinos might decide to ban anyone who sports a tatoo:

Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed “tattoo electronics” — wireless electronics so flexible and thin they can be applied to the skin and forgotten. “The blurring of electronics and biology is the key point here,” said Yonggang Huang, who led the theory and design work at Northwestern. “All established forms of electronics are hard, rigid. Biology is soft, elastic. It’s two different worlds. We found a way to truly integrate them.”

The high-performance epidermal electronic system mounts directly onto the skin with the ease, flexibility and comfort of a temporary tattoo. The system could be used for monitoring brain, heart and muscle tissue activity; wound measurement and treatment; biological and chemical sensing; computer gaming and covert communications. The study will be published in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Science.

“The electronics can be seen but not felt,” said Huang, the Joseph Cummings Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. “Human skin is rough, but our electronics are able to follow the skin morphology and adhere like a temporary tattoo.”

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(Thanks to Shoichi F. for alerting us to the tatoo technology, and to Mark Dionne for pointing out the potential lucrative-until-banned use of same.)