30 Oct '15, 5pm

Body Talk With Magnets

Want to send your total number of steps from your Fitbit without eating up battery life, or communicate between your iPhone and your Apple watch with no fear of eavesdropping? Engineers in California say the best way for wearable devices to talk amongst themselves is by sending magnetic fields through the wearer’s body. The shortest path for data to travel from one wearable device to another is a straight line, but generally that means going through the body. Because radio doesn’t travel easily through tissue, Bluetooth or WiFi signals have to take a longer path around the body, and that requires more power. A signal carried by a magnetic field, on the other hand, could travel from, say, one hand to the other without interference from the torso in between, says Patrick Mercier , associate director of the Center for Wearable Sensors at the University of California, San Dieg...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/g...

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