Wearable technology could move one step ahead with this new development that the researchers from the University of California, San Diego have come up with. They announced that they have created a proof-of-concept wireless transmission system that can be an alternative of Bluetooth. The new wearable will use your body’s natural magnetic field to send data signals instead of doing it over the air. This “magnetic field human body communication” could result in a new set of ultra—low power wearables.
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Problem with Bluetooth
While currently, Bluetooth is ruling short range wireless communication, it also has lots of limitations. Bluetooth works without any obstacle when the air path is clear between the two devices. However, when the signal has to pass through barriers like the human body, called path loss, a significant power boost is needed.
The Bluetooth signals radiate omni-directionally from the source and travels up to 30 feet. So, anybody within that signal can intercept the data. This means there can be a breach in security.
How UCSD’s System will Help?
With UCSD’s system, there is no obstacle as the magnetic fields pass through the human body to send signals to devices. The prototype developed by the researchers, used PVC-wrapped wires which were coiled around the user’s extremities and generated magnetic fields that transmitted signals between different parts of the body.
The researchers think that the path loss linked to this system is around 10 million times lower than Bluetooth. This means there will be longer battery lives as energy will be saved.
Lead author and UCSD Ph.D student, Jiwoong Park said “A problem with wearable devices like smart watches is that they have short operating times because they are limited to using small batteries. With this magnetic field human body communication system, we hope to significantly reduce power consumption as well as how frequently users need to recharge their devices.”
There will also be increased security with this system. Since the wearable system transmits signal through the body, it will be almost impossible to breach data security.
Recently the team of researchers presented this system at the 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society which was held in Milan, Italy.
What do you think about this new wearable system? Do you think it will be better than Bluetooth? We would love to hear your thoughts on this.