Technology 3 min read

New Device Sends Wearable Tech Info Through Your Body

Wearable tech is one of the fastest growing industries of 2019. Now, researchers may have found a new way of keeping your info safe by transmitting signals through your body.

The researchers created a model of a human arm, wrist, and hand made of synthetic bone, muscle, and skin to test their technique for sending data through the body | Image Credit: Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

The researchers created a model of a human arm, wrist, and hand made of synthetic bone, muscle, and skin to test their technique for sending data through the body | Image Credit: Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Wearable tech has become a part of our everyday lives, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

As telecom companies make the big switch to 5G, the number of connected wearable devices available worldwide will increase, jumping from 526 million in 2016 to over 1.1 billion by 2022.

And why not, these technologies provide a better life to users. From Pacemakers and Internet-connected glasses to Smartwatches and Fitness trackers, these devices are designed to make our life easier.

But they are not perfect. Like a lot of electronic gadgets on the market today, wearable tech can be hacked.

For example, your Fitbit watch sends personal health information to your smartphone through the airways. That means anyone with the technical know-how can swoop in and steal your data.

In a statement, Associate Professor Kaushik Chowdhury said;

“The truth is, no matter what I do when it comes to wireless devices, I’m radiating the signal through the air, and there is the danger that the signal can be jammed, or analyzed by someone else.”

That’s why he worked with a team of researchers from the Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Federal University of Paraná in Brazil. Together, they developed a safe, hack-proof method of sending sensitive information – through your body.

“Our method secures this sensitive information so it can’t be leaked,” said Chowdhury.

How does this secure method work, you ask?

Sending Information Through Your Body

The researchers packed information into a weak electrical current using a technique called galvanic coupling. They then injected the current into the human body.

Using the Fitbit watch example, personal health information would travel as a signal from the watch through your arm into your wrist. Finally, it would reach the palm.

That means, to transfer information to another device – in this case, your smartphone – you simply have to touch it. Of course, the phone must have been equipped with a specialized receiver beforehand.

Ultimately, our body collects information from the wearable tech, and we can send the data securely to other devices with a single touch.

How is this possible, you wonder?

The human body contains electricity. It’s how the nervous system transmits signals from the brain to muscles. The researchers are merely taking advantage of the body’s electrical communication system to send new information.

“Our body becomes the medium of communication,” said Stella Banou, one of the researchers, and a doctoral candidate at Northeastern.

According to the researcher, this technology could pave the way for other forms of communication.

For example, we may be able to exchange information in the future through a simple handshake.

Read More: New Graphene-Based Wearables to Monitor Human Health Stats

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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