Wireless technology is quickly becoming the norm. To further establish this concept, researchers from the University of California, San Diego in the US, have recently created a prototype of a new wireless communication method that uses the human body to send data. The technology allegedly exceeds the potential of existing wireless tech.
Photo credits: UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering/ Flickr.
The new technique of using the body to send data from device to device has been named “magnetic field human body communication”. The body is the means to deliver magnetic energy between wearable electronic devices.
The device that is worn on the human body has to be circular for the magnetic fields to propagate and function. It could, therefore, be adapted to fitness bands, smart watches, belts, and the likes.
One of the greatest benefits conferred by this technique is its lower need for power because unlike Bluetooth devices that are also worn on the body, the device’s electromagnetic radiation would not be blocked by our body (causing “path loss”), and would therefore not require too much power. Hence, the new devices are power-efficient since the data is sent via magnetic fields directly through the body such that path loss is greatly reduced.
“This technique, to our knowledge, achieves the lowest path losses out of any wireless human body communication system that’s been demonstrated so far,” said Patrick Mercier, lead author of the study. “This technique will allow us to build much lower power wearable devices.”
The researchers also reassured that the magnetic energy going through the body is not deemed harmful. The systems that make up the wearable devices are unlike MRI scanners in terms of the signals they send that are of much less power.
Furthermore, the technology will not have security issues since digital eavesdropping is prevented as the signals are contained within the body to the maximum.
“Increased privacy is desirable when you’re using your wearable devices to transmit information about your health,” said the first author, Jiwoong Park.