Sometimes a handshake is more than a handshake. In a scene straight out of a cartoon, a woman shakes hands with another person wearing a special wristband, and just like that, her skirt lights up. This doesn't involve a hidden wire or some wireless trickery. Instead, the human body has become an electronic communication device.
A new prototype from Panasonic uses electric-field communication technology. Few details about exactly how it works were available in English or in Japanese, but it seems as though they've figured out a proprietary, safe way to read signals sent through the body. Each of us is a surprisingly good antenna, after all. The system was shown recently at the CEATEC trade show in Chiba, Japan.
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"Just by shaking hands, the color information has traveled from this watch, through our handshake, and into her dress to change the color," a rep explained in Panasonic's video from the trade show floor. "Data is traveling from person to person."
Human-to-human is one of the ways this prototype can function, but it also operates between a human and an object as well as between two objects. Just last week, scientists at the University of Washington demonstrated a way to send a password through a body in order to unlock a door.
The idea is to enable authentication and communication through natural gestures. So if you have on Panasonic's wearable or are holding a ball containing the system, you could control a computer screen or lights around the house that also contain the tech.
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