“E-tattoo” the next big thing in contactless payments?

Plastic cards, cash, and even smartphones could one day be replaced with a new type of payment method that is a bit harder to misplace: a tattoo-like sticker.

MC10’s Wearable Interactive Stamp Platform (WiSP) is an ultra-thin sticker that resembles a tattoo. What makes it so extraordinary is that it contains near field communication (NFC) technology enabling it to connect to an NFC-capable device such as a smartphone or a dedicated reader.

See also: E-skin might be the slightly creepy future of wearables

This type of technology could inherently be more secure; it isn’t a loose physical object you could easily misplace. For patients in hospitals, it could replace the often bulky wrist bands medical workers use to identify and track patients.

Removing the WiSP is easy, but doing so tears it so that the information it contains becomes unreadable and any data stored within virtually useless to any would-be thief.

As a payment method, the WiSP could be used to store your credit card information and swiped over a contactless reader, freeing the wearer’s hands – and pockets.

This tattoo could be a good decision

It could also be used in other areas where NFC technology is already being put to use, such as hotels and event registration. It would be an ideal solution for anyone attending a crowded event that only wants to take the bare essentials with them. Goodbye ugly lanyards!

This particular technology is not new, however, it is thinner and this is particular integration is made to be worn on human skin rather than a device such as your phone. Previous takes on the concept by MC10 included implantable tattoos which were a bit more invasive than an easily-removable sticker.

MC10’s technology is already being put to use by L’Oréal to research skin exposure to UV rays and the company is seeking other businesses to partner with to take the technology even further.

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