Gadget geeks, prepare to get wired in a whole new way — researchers at Korea University in Seoul recently discovered a way to transmit data directly through the human body at broadband speeds by using the arm as a conduit. The researchers placed two electrodes 12 inches apart on a subject’s skin and were able to clock data transmission rates of 10 megabits per second. The technology may pave the way for ultra-efficient implantable body monitors that cut energy needs by 90%.

Transmitting data directly through the skin is much more efficient than current wireless transmission technologies (bluetooth, wifi), since it requires much less energy. The body is an excellent medium for the transmission of signals, and researchers found that low-frequency electromagnetic waves encounter very little interference when sent through the skin.

To transmit the signals the South Korean researchers used metal electrodes coated with a flexible silicon-rich polymer. The entire system is 300 micrometers thick, remarkably durable, and the researchers have done extensive testing to ensure that the electrodes don’t case any irritation or discomfort. The team is currently working with a major electronics manufacturer to develop a heart monitoring system that utilizes the new technology.

+ Korea University

Via New Scientist