DNA-infused tattoo ink lets your loved ones remain a part of you — literally

Given how permanent they are, it’s no surprise that tattoos are pretty darn personal things. Whether it’s the date of your child’s birthday or some other marking which commemorates a significant moment or aspect of your life, tattoos provide a means to carry around a visual reminder about something important to us. They could be about to get a whole lot more personal, however, thanks to a new startup called Everence.

Its mission? To utilize technology developed by Brown and Duke University scientists that makes it possible to have DNA incorporated into tattoo ink. Whether it’s the hair from a beloved pet or the cremated remains of a deceased family member, the resulting DNA-laced tattoos promise “a deeper personal connection that even the most meaningful tattoos could never achieve.”

“A customer orders a collection kit, either a DNA cheek swab or ash and hair container from our website,” Everence co-founder and CEO Patrick Duffy told Digital Trends. “We turn the customer’s DNA, ash, or hair sample into Everence through a patented process, in which it is purified and encapsulated in a medical-grade polymer which protects it from being absorbed or destroyed by the body. We [then] send the Everence, which resembles a fine whitish-silverfish powder, back directly to the customer. They can take their Everence to any tattoo artist in the world, who in turn mixes it with any tattoo ink of their choosing, and applies the tattoo as they normally would.”

everence dna based tattoo everencevial

The Everence (a combination of the words “forever” and “reverence”) mixture is created from medical-grade materials at the company’s dedicated facility in Quonset, Rhode Island. The process involves upwards of 20 individual steps and uses a variety of specialized mini-mills.

Duffy said that the concept was inspired by Special Operations Gold Stars, dedicated to surviving spouses and children of fallen Special Operations personnel killed in combat. However, customers so far have also included people celebrating the birth of a child, getting engaged or married, or those losing a loved one in some other manner.

The idea isn’t wholly new, of course. There are already companies which will turn ashes into jewelry, for example. Back in 1977, the rock group KISS had their blood mixed in with the ink for the printing of a KISS special edition comic book, with the idea that this marketing stunt would give fans a genuine piece of their musical heroes to own. Everence may well be the first time a similar process has been applied to tattoo ink, though.

Will this latest example of a high-tech tattoo catch on? We’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it’s certainly likely to prove a talking point at parties!

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The design still says retro, but Fujifilm's X-T3 is all about the future

If the X-T2 brought Fujifilm into the modern era, the X-T3 is focused on the future. With a new sensor and processor, completely revamped autofocus, and vastly upgraded video, it's the new APS-C camera to beat.
Mobile

Updating to Apple’s iOS 12 will make your iPhone a whole lot smarter

iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s iOS, is officially here. We took it for a spin to check out its new noteworthy features, and if it truly changes our smartphone habits for the better.
Product Review

Google Pixelbook review

Do you want the best Chromebook money can buy? Our Google Pixelbook review examines the operating system’s new flagship, which includes 2-in-1 versatility, an active stylus, and Google Assistant.
Emerging Tech

Kill it before it lays eggs! Crazy 32-leg robot moves like a cyborg sea urchin

We’ve seen one-legged, two-legged, four-legged and even six-legged robots, but researchers from Japan have gone way, way further with their latest project: A 32-legged robot. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

Will we ever fly supersonic again? Unraveling the concorde’s complex legacy

In a new book, Last Days of the Concorde, journalist and author Samme Chittum delves into the mindset that inspired engineers to design this marvel, the series of events that led to its fatal crash, and the possibility that commercial SSTs…
Emerging Tech

Leafy greens are grown by machines at new, automated Silicon Valley farm

Farming hasn't changed too much for hundreds of years. Now a new startup called Iron Ox has opened its first automated hydroponics farm, producing a variety of leafy greens tended by machines.
Gaming

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Get your head in the clouds with the best vaporizers for flower and concentrates

Why combust dead plant matter when you could vaporize the good stuff and leave the leaves behind? Here's a rundown of the best vaporizers money can buy, no matter what your style is.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Emerging Tech

What the heck is machine learning, and why is it everywhere these days?

Machine learning has been responsible for some of the biggest advances in artificial intelligence over the past decade. But what exactly is it? Check out our handy beginner's guide.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Emerging Tech

Boston Dynamics is trying to make fetch happen with its new working robot dog

Boston Dynamics wants to see Spot in the workplace, but not as part of take-your-dog-to-work days. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the technology company believes its extraordinary robo-dog is now ready to start work.