Newsweek Magazine files in a report about the potential of body based technology that allows the human body to act as a wireless networking tool. This very technology is central to Docomo’s concept wristwatch-phone that transfers the voice signal through your body:
In his gadget-filled office at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Prof. Kohji Mitsubayashi tells a visitor to touch a transmitter with one hand and a receiver with another. Voila! A jaunty TV jingle blares from a pair of attached speakers. Surprised, the visitor releases both gadgets, and the music stops. The simplicity and strangeness of becoming a human circuit—with electrical signals coursing through one’s body from fingertip to fingertip—is so fascinating that visitors usually repeat the act. “Fun, isn’t it?” says Mitsubayashi, grinning.
Not just fun. Japan is abuzz over the potential of such body-based technology as the ultimate wireless networking tool. A string of Japanese companies are experimenting with systems that use the human body to conduct electricity—some manipulating weak currents that pass through the skin itself (as body-fat scales do), others taking advantage of electrical fields on the surface of the body. Associated products are on the way. The question is whether this represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about wires.