New technology means tattoos can now 'speak'

Thanks to technology, there's an extra dimension being added to ink, called "soundwave tattoos".

The first of it's kind app, called Skin Motion, is now allowing people to listen to their tattoo.

"Anything that makes a sound," said Shane Hallock with Ritual Addiction Tattoo. "Anything that makes a sound, you can get done."

Tattoos have been around for centuries. They're personal, meaningful, permanent and constantly evolving. So much so, in fact, that classic ink is now being blended with technology, making sound come alive on the skin.

For soundwave tattoos, it begins with downloading the Skin Motion app, and upload any sound one wants after that.

"You upload your sound to, and that's going to turn it into a tattoo-able image, which is the sound wave," said Hallock.

People will then take that image to a certified Skin Motion artist, like Hallock, who will then turn it into a tattoo that speaks. The tattoo is applied just like any other tattoo, starting with an image that becomes a stencil, which then becomes forever.

The choice of the forever sound is up to a person, who can get their dog barking, child saying a cute phrase...

...or even a voicemail from a loved one who's passed.

"When someone dies, the first thing you want to hear all of the time is their voice," said Hallock. "You can pick up your phone, you can listen to it, but having it on your skin, there's a bigger meaning behind it when it's actually on your body and you can hear it all of the time."

"I do it a couple of times a day, and it's cool because I have kids too, and they want to hear her voice," said Caitlin Hallock, Shane's wife. She has a soundwave tattoo made from a video of her mother Leslie wishing her a happy birthday.

Caitlin has dozens of tattoos, but one tattoo holds the most meaning. Her mother suddenly passed away in 2015 from a heart attack, and now, Caitlin's mother's voice is permanently etched in Caitlin's skin.

"I've got the clock with the date and time that she passed away, and then, I've got her writing of a note she left me. Now I have her voice, so it's pretty cool," said Caitlin. "Once the artist does the tattoo, you take a picture of it, send it to Skin Motion, they basically activate the tattoo so you can start using your Skin Motion app. Once they send you the email that it's activated, you just hold the phone up to the side of the tattoo, and it will start swirling in the middle and then it will read it off."

Something it will read off forever, all thanks to technology mixed with a little art.

"It's happy you know," said Caitlin. "It's really cool because like I said, it's on my skin. It just has a bigger meaning behind it for me."

Hallock is just one of a few certified Skin Motion tattoo artists in the state. There is an activation fee on the app of about $40.