Tattoo Artist Creates “Soundwave Tattoos” That You Can Actually Listen to

Tattoos have always been considered a visual medium, but thank to an innovative blend of art and technology, you can now listen to your skin art by using a smartphone app. Be it the voice of a loved one, your favorite song or a motivational quote, you’ll be able to take it everywhere with you and listen to it anytime you like.

Los Angeles-based tattoo artist Nate Siggard came up with the idea for audible tattoos when two friends came in to get the opening line from Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” inked into their skin. The artist’s girlfriend casually said that it would be cool if you could actually listen to it, and her comment was apparently enough for Nate to pursue this seemingly crazy idea further.

Siggard realized that there was a way to make sound come alive on someone’s skin, by tattooing the sound waves generated by a computer. He tried it out on himself first, inking the voice of his girlfriend and his baby and posting the result on Facebook. It went viral almost instantly, and people started bombarding him with questions and requests for their own soundwave tattoos. And that’s how Skin Motion, the company for tattoos that you can listen to was born.

So what’s the secret behind this innovative type of tattoos. Well, as I mentioned, it’s a blend of classic inking and technology. The Skin Motion website of mobile app allow people to generate a minute-worth of wave pattern of any sound they would like to have on their skin, be it a voice, a song, a dog barking, virtually anything. Once you have the pattern, you have to get it tattooed onto your skin by a certified Skin Motion artist, and 24 hours later, the company adds an overlay that gets picked up by your smartphone camera, allowing you to play your skin art whenever you want.

For now, the Skin Motion app is still in development, but will launch officially in June 2017. Founder Nate Siggard is currently focusing on building up a network of certified Skin Motion artists, and is partnering up with tattoo artists all around the world. They will be trained and authorized to perform “soundwave tattoos”.


The technology used by Siggard doesn’t work as a general sound wave reader. It only works with Skin Motion designs right now, but the L.A. tattoo artist and his team are working on improving the technology to the point where it will be able to read any sound wave tattoo.


Technology has been finding its way into the tattoo world in recent years. We recently wrote about “Ephemeral”, a semi-permanent tattoo ink that can be wiped off with a special removal solution. It was created by a team of Chemical and Biomolecular engineering students.