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Magnetic Fields Provide a New Way to Communicate Wirelessly

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Electrical engineering Ph.D. student Jiwoong Park demonstrates communication from arm to arm using the magnetic field human body communication prototype.

A new wireless communication technique works by sending magnetic signals through the human body.

Credit: UCSD News (CA)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) researchers have demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body.

The researchers say their method could be developed into an ultra-low-power wireless system that can transmit information around the human body.  

"We're trying to find new ways to communicate information around the human body that use much less power," says UCSD professor Patrick Mercier.  

The technique relies on magnetic field human body communication, which uses the body as a vehicle to deliver magnetic energy between electronic devices.  The researchers showed the path losses associated with magnetic field human body communication are upwards of 10 million times lower than those associated with Bluetooth radios. In addition, lower power consumption leads to a longer battery life. "

We hope to significantly reduce power consumption as well as how frequently users need to recharge their devices," says UCSD Ph.D. student Jiwoong Park.

Magnetic field human body communication also makes the communication link less vulnerable to eavesdropping.  "Increased privacy is desirable when you're using your wearable devices to transmit information about your health," Park notes.

From UCSD News (CA)
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