Electronics

Panasonic uses human touch to transfer data

The LEDs under one staff member's skirt change to match the color of a bracelet worn by another when they shake hands
The LEDs under one staff member's skirt change to match the color of a bracelet worn by another when they shake hands
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Data transfer and authentication occurs when the objects or people touch, with digital information stored in a source tag instantaneously moving to a receiver module
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Data transfer and authentication occurs when the objects or people touch, with digital information stored in a source tag instantaneously moving to a receiver module
The LEDs under one staff member's skirt change to match the color of a bracelet worn by another when they shake hands
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The LEDs under one staff member's skirt change to match the color of a bracelet worn by another when they shake hands
Panasonic says that the digital data from the tag worn by one user is transferred through the body to the receiver worn by another
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Panasonic says that the digital data from the tag worn by one user is transferred through the body to the receiver worn by another
Panasonic suggests that because the data is traveling through the body and not through the air, secure transmission is assured
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Panasonic suggests that because the data is traveling through the body and not through the air, secure transmission is assured

In an age when digital information can fly around the connected networks of the world in the blink of an eye, it may seem a little old timey to consider delivering messages by hand. But that's precisely what Panasonic is doing at CEATEC this week. The company is demonstrating a prototype communication system where data is transmitted from one person to another through touch.

There's very little information on the system available, but Panasonic says that the prototype uses electric field communication technology to move data from "thing-to-thing, human-to-human and human-to-thing." Data transfer and authentication occurs when the objects or people touch, with digital information stored in a source tag instantaneously moving to a receiver module – kind of like NFC tap to connect technology, but with people in the equation as well as devices.

Panasonic suggests that because the data is traveling through the body and not through the air, secure transmission is assured
Panasonic suggests that because the data is traveling through the body and not through the air, secure transmission is assured

It has the potential to allow business types to exchange contact information with a handshake, mood lighting in a room to be changed to match or contrast with clothing when a lamp is touched or access to a building granted by placing a hand or object on a lock interface or door handle. And Panasonic suggests that because the data is traveling through the body and not over the air, secure transmission is assured.

The CEATEC demos are quite basic, but serve to show that the system works. There's no word at the moment on whether it will make it to enterprise or commercial availability, but the video below shows the Human Body Communication Device in action.

Source: Panasonic

Transferring Data with a Touch | #Panasonic LIVE@CEATEC 2016

3 comments
ArturoVillegasRodríguez
Wasn't this a concept developed by IBM in the mid-90's at IBM's Almaden Research Center? I remember Nicholas Negroponte talking about almost 20 years ago.
Omen
In my day, we often transferred data via touch: we called it typing.
Stephen N Russell
Saw similar about a movie called Timeless where Time was currency for the future. Same idea, Love IT, what gets me is what data is sent??