Brief

To showcase the speed, reliability and low latency of T-Mobile's 5G network by tattooing someone remotely in real-time over a wireless 5G connection.

Approach

There were three lanes of initial development. Firstly we needed to work out how to track the tattoo artist's movements and detect when he was making contact with the surface of a fake practice arm and transmit this data over the network. Secondly, we had to develop a robotic platform that could receive this data in realtime and control the robot's movements in relation to the human arm. Thirdly we needed to develop a deep understanding of the fine details of tattooing.

Impact

A fully functioning 5G tattooing robot that is showcased in a mind-blowing three-minute documentary-style film. (Video views in a week: 340,000)

Client

T-Mobile

Production Company

The Mill

Director

Alfie Johnson

Creative Director

Noel Drew

Capabilities

Creative Tech / Direction / Animation / Matte Painting / Design

For quite some time we’ve been hearing about the next generation of wireless technology, 5G. But while it is finally rolling out across the globe, many telecom providers still struggle with translating the technological improvements to relevant consumer benefits. Sure, it’s faster. But low latency? Greater reliability? Enhanced capacity? It all sounds great, but for what exactly? T-Mobile had a clear task in mind.

We teamed up with creative agency Anomaly Amsterdam to bring 5G closer to home and underpin T-Mobile’s reputation as The Netherland’s most trusted network. In order to do this, we developed ‘The Impossible Tattoo’: the world’s first-ever remote tattoo, powered by T-Mobile’s 5G technology.

What previously seemed impossible, became a reality when a robot arm, which was controlled by a tattoo artist in another location, placed a tattoo onto human skin in real-time via 5G. With the new benefits of the network, there is virtually no delay, which means an action with millimeter accuracy can be performed no matter the distance. ‘The Impossible Tattoo’ convincingly shows what speed, greater reliability and low latency mean in the real world.

The Mill’s Experience team, led by Noel Drew spent several months researching and developing cutting edge technology. Our team both built the custom robot tattoo arm needed for this groundbreaking feat and also created the film that captured it. Dutch tattoo artist Wes, was deeply involved in the research and development of the remote tattooing technology, ensuring a multitude of factors were taken into account when replicating the intricate art of tattooing. After countless tests on an army of heroic vegetables and prosthetic skin samples, it was Dutch actress and TV personality Stijn Fransen who successfully received the world’s first 5G tattoo.

Footage of the process covers everything, from building and testing the robot arm to the tattooing, which will be used in online communication and national broadcast for T-Mobile.

Credits

Mill Experience
Technical & Creative Director: Noel Drew
Developer: Seph Li, Matthew Hill, Eleanor Edwards
Executive Producer: Jarrad Vladich
Producer: Sinead Catney
Mill Direction
Director: Alfie Johnson
Head of Content /Executive Producer: Josh Davies
Producer: Elliott Tagg
Production Manager: Lizzie Wafer
Production Assistant: Josh Moore
Colourist
Colourist: Alex Gregory
Online: Jeanette Eiternes
2D Artist: Peter Atack
Editorial
Editorial: Whitehouse
Producer: Annabel Bennett
Editor: Joe Walton
Business Affairs
Senior Legal & Business Affairs Counsel: Elizabeth Kennedy