By Paula Rothman
For BU News Service
LAS VEGAS—At CES, attendees get to experiment with high-end products and discuss futuristic concepts that promise to reshape the way we drive, eat, clean the house and even sleep. Still, every now and then, you can come across some straight-forward, simple ideas that are just a lot of fun.
That’s the case for Prinker, a device created by Korean startup SketchOn, which has been labeled as a “skin printer.”
In its essence, Prinker is an amped-up version of a stamp, or gum-tattoo. It allows users to apply a design to their skin in just a few seconds. The main difference is that because the device is paired with a smartphone app, it offers endless design options and the ability to create new patterns instantly.
Consumers can use their phones to select from a list of available drawings, from soccer team logos to unicorns, or draw on the screen whatever pattern, word or doodle they feel like applying on themselves.
The Prinker machine, which is about two times the size of a computer mouse, takes just seconds to work. The base of the device runs over the skin (I tried it—it feels like tiny wheels), depositing a thin layer of ink. To avoid allergies, the pigmentation is made of ingredients largely used in makeup.
So far, SketchOn has been commercializing Prinker in Korea as a rental device. Companies pay $150 a day to use the machine for events or for marketing. In April, the company plans on launching in China and afterwards, the U.S.