Wi-R is a wireless communication technology, transmitting signal through the human body +10 cm around. They say, it needs 100x less power than Bluetooth. Yet it can handle audio/video transmission!
It also works through the chain of humans. Some use scenarios shown here: Wi-R: Communicate with Touch on Vimeo
I’m already excited with what I’ve just seen, but all my thoughts now are about implants. How big has the transceiver to be? Would it transmit from under the skin? (They say, it couples capacitively, so yes?) How much power does it really require? Could it be powered by that alternating capacitance through the body, instead of the near field?
It would be so awesome to put such an implant securely, anywhere in your body, and get able to open locks by any hand/finger touch!
If this is real, then I could definitely see this being revolutionary for the tech world. An implantable version would definitely be a great option for those of us brave enough to do it. However, something like this would almost certainly require a battery still, unless it can be powered by the device you’re touching.
I say “if this is real” because the skeptic in me can see the demo being easily faked, and I’ve seen so many revolutionary ideas in tech startups end up being bogus pipedreams just to grab cash from a crowdfunding campaign. The demo they show with the glasses could easily be a regular pair of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth camera glasses that are only shown when the button on the display is pressed.
Don’t get me wrong though, I want this to be real.
Did a little sniffing around and one thing that does add to its credibility is the fact that it appears to have originated as a research project out of Purdue University.
Additionally, it appears they already have an implant of sorts utilizing the technology.
As Sen and his students explored the capabilities of these signals further, the lab also became the first to demonstrate electro-quasistatic signals enabling communication in the brain. This is possible using a brain implant Sen’s lab has invented that transmits these signals.
The idea is that eventually a human could use these implants, placed at key points within the brain, to control technology without even touching or looking at it. In the future, this might look like using your thoughts to turn on an oven or type and send a text message.
Now I REALLY want it to be real!
This. Capacitive data transmission is definitely interesting tech, making your body the “antenna”. It won’t be powering any implants though, just communicating with them. Any implantable tech will need to be powered either by a battery or energy harvesting though, which is a recurring problem we have very limited means to overcome so far.
Disney actually patented this a long time ago. I looked at it and as far as I can tell, the problem is going to be centered around the capacitive aspect. Capacitive data transfer needs capacitive potential… basically if you think about it like a very low power AM radio transmission, the ground plane is the device and it bounces potentials off your body’s capacitance field.
I have serious doubts that an implant will be able to do this because it is inside of and fully encapsulated by that capacitive field.
There might be some way to make it work, but in my initial investigation I really couldn’t see a way that it would work reliably. I hope that I’m excruciatingly and delightedly wrong