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Microsoft Patents Body-As-Network

A human conduit could distribute power across wearable devices, developer says.

Stephen Lawson, IDG News

Jun 24, 2004 12:00 am

Microsoft has a patent on a new kind of network: Your body.

The software giant has received a U.S. patent for a “method and apparatus for transmitting power and data using the human body.” An application for the patent, No. 6,754, 472, was filed in 2000 and awarded this week.

Microsoft proposes linking portable devices such as watches, keyboards, displays, and speakers using the conductivity of “a body of a living creature.”

Powering Devices

A variety of devices could be powered selectively from a single power source carried on the body, via multiple power supply signals at different frequencies, according to the patent abstract. In addition, data and audio signals could be transmitted over that same power signal. The power source and devices would be connected to the body via electrodes.

In the patent application, Microsoft says the company set out to address the proliferation of small handheld or wearable devices with redundant parts for input and output of data, such as separate speakers in a watch, a radio, and a personal digital assistant. If all those devices were networked, they could all share one speaker, the company suggests. Personal wireless networks have potential problems involving power consumption, interference and security, and batteries add weight and are inconvenient to replace or recharge, according to Microsoft.

A Microsoft spokesperson on Wednesday confirmed the company has been awarded the patent. Microsoft did not immediately provide any details of product plans for the technology.

Practical Uses

The idea of using the body to transmit power among devices is not new, according to Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney. However, small batteries and wireless personal-area network technologies such as Bluetooth may be a more practical approach, he says.

“Think about the problems of always having to have things touching your body,” Dulaney says. “I think this could be one of those technologies that’s interesting but not practical in the long run.”

One area in which the body could be useful as a network conduit might be useful is with medical devices, he adds.

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Posted in Human-Computer interaction and Nano technology 6 years, 5 months ago at 20:29.

1 comment

One Reply

  1. COLIN SILVER Mar 19th 2011

    THE ADVANCE OF TECHNOLOGY NEED TO BE ACCELERATED AND TO BE HAPENING THE TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY IN 2020. THE 2020 NEED TO BE THE TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY YEAR. WHEN THE HUMAN WILL MERGE WITH COMPUTER, THE COMPUTER WILL EXTEND THE HUMAN INTELLIGENCE AT T TOTAL ILLUMINATION. THE TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY IS OUR DESTINY, OUR NEXT STEP ON THE EVOLUTION SCALE. ALSO THE MOORE’S LAW NEED TO BE ACCELERATED FROM EVERY 18 TO ONLY 10 IF NOT 5 MONTHS. HUMAN NEED TO BECOME IMMORTAL BY MAX 2020 DEVELOPING MOLECULAR SCALE NANOBOTS WHICH TO REGENERATE THE CELLS FROM YOUR ENTIRE BODY CONTINUALLY MAKING YOU IMMORTAL.


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