Google files patent for lie-detecting throat tattoo

12 Nov 2013

The diagram submitted with Google's patent for the throat tattoo. Photo via Motorola

Internet search giant Google has filed a patent for a throat tattoo that not only flashes when the wearer might be lying, but also blocks out background noise to facilitate telephone conversations.

Google-owned Motorola filed the patent in the US last year, but the document has only been published yesterday.

The throat tattoo would come with a display that lights up under certain conditions. “The electronic skin tattoo can further include a galvanic skin response detector to detect skin resistance of a user,” according to the patent.

“It is contemplated that a user may be nervous or engaging in speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a more confident, truth telling individual.”

Lie-detector tests, for example, work by measuring galvanic skin responses, such as sweating.

The patent also refers to how the throat tattoo’s technology could make it easier to hear a person on the other end of a telephone in noisy stadiums, restaurants and emergency situations.

“Communication can reasonably be improved and even enhanced with a method and system for reducing the acoustic noise in such environments and contexts,” the patent reads.

The unnamed device would serve as an “auxiliary voice input to a mobile communication device”; basically a noise-cancelling microphone for a mobile phone that users can stick on their necks.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic