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Data Waves Keep Your Wearable Tech in Tune

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Motorola's Wearable Technology Jacket

A new wireless technique could permit wearable technologies, like this Wearable Technology Jacket from Motorola, to communicate with each other.

Credit: CNET TV

A new wireless technique that uses a phenomenon known as Zenneck surface waves could enable wearable technology to communicate. This electromagnetic wave stays at the interface between the surface of an object and the air, rather than traveling through open space.

British researchers have demonstrated a system that uses the waves to send high-definition video over a short length of material. It has a bandwidth of up to 1.5 Gbps (gigabits/second), making it almost three times faster than Wi-Fi. The signal travels over the surface for a few centimeters, rather than through the material.

The fabric, made of a dielectric-coated conducting material, could be tailored into a jacket to enable a lapel camera, a wrist display, and a pulse-monitored bracelet to communicate in a personal network. A smartphone in a pocket could automatically communicate as well.

Zenneck wave-enabled devices could hit the market within two years, according to Roke Manor Research's Janice Turner and colleagues.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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