Move over radio waves. Forget about infrared. And pull Bluetooth. There’s a new “wireless-like” communication system in development, with some of the most interesting recent work being done in Japan. Why have another standard you ask? Make no mistake about it. PDAs and mobile computers are here to stay. In fact, they are likely to evolve into an entirely new generation of so-called wearable computers.
The most common options today use radio waves to exchange information. Standards such as IEEE 802.11b, 802.11g, and even mobile phone networks have proved to be functional and, for the most part, cost-effective. Likewise, infrared is available on most mobile computers, and is ideal for point-to-point, line-of-sight, data transfers. Bluetooth also is quickly establishing itself as a standard in mobile phones and some handhelds, making smaller information exchanges a breeze.
Based on work initiated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the mid-1990s, researchers at NTT Docomo Multimedia Labs and NTT Microsystem Integration Labs are using the electric field generated by the human body to form a high-speed network between mobile devices. The system, known as ElectAura-Net, operates at 10 megabits per second, the speed of the original Ethernet network. Continue >>