Pass this temporary tattoo machine over your arm for instant ink

The $269 Prinker S delivers fun, temporary tattoos in seconds.

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor

Meet Prinker S, a smart temporary tattoo machine.

Julie Snyder/CNET

OK, this might be my favorite thing at CES this year -- a temporary tattoo printer from startup Prinker. The $269 device, called the Prinker S, is a small black handheld gadget that can hold black ($99) or color ($149) cosmetic-grade ink cartridges (sold separately). The ink is expensive, but Prinker claims each cartridge is good for 1,000 tattoos. 

On the crowded show floor, folks at the Prinker booth help you scroll through the app to select a design. Enter "wings," "rose" or whatever else you might want into the app. Select the design you like on the app screen and the printing instructions are sent to the Prinker S device. (You can also create your own design in the customization section of the app.)

I opted for two designs in the database -- a blue feather and a multicolored bird. 


My new ink.

Julie Snyder/CNET

An employee sprayed skin primer on the spots I chose on my forearm and passed the Prinker S over my arm, barely touching it -- and the tattoos appeared magically, in seconds. It felt more like light airbrushing than "stamping" or "printing" and the designs are supposed to last for one to three days (update: mine lasted one day). 

My feather tattoo looks a little splotchy, but the bird looks pretty good, especially since it has multiple colors. The Prinker S will be available for sale on Amazon in a few days -- and I gotta say, I think it's pretty awesome. 

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