New PDAs Communicate Through Human Touch
Oct 7, 2002
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Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) and NTT DoCoMo Inc. have jointly developed technology to allow people to exchange data via their personal digital assistants (PDAs) just by touching each other, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

The technology takes advantage of the human body's conductivity and the companies will try to commercialize it as a new communications medium, the economic daily said. With human bodies seen as communications circuits, a device attached to a PDA sends and receives weak electrical signals through people.

Since apparel and handbags are also conductive to some extent, the technology will allow communications between people with their PDA left in a pocket, the newspaper said. For example, people can exchange email addresses, names and phone numbers while shaking hands as the data will automatically be written into each other's PDA.

The companies have confirmed in an experiment that data can be transmitted at 10 megabits per second, comparable to broadband communications, the paper said. Unlike telephone and wireless communications, the new device would not be blocked by jamming and wiretapping. It will also allow communications via a door knob, various switches, desks and chairs, the paper said.

The technology would allow, for example, people to pass through a railroad ticket gate just by touching the gate, and let a building's door open to allow in a person when the person touches the door as the building's computer can scan data on the person. The technology would also allow a computer to immediately recognize people and automatically start itself up as soon as they sit at the desk, the paper said. (Kyodo News)

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