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Human Skin Hacked for Broadband, Probably Faster Than Our Apartment

Japanese researchers discovered a way to transmit data, at broadband speeds, using the human body back in 2005. Now Korean scientists have improved on that demonstration by performing the same feat with using a set of slightly modified electrodes. Using low-frequency electromagnetic signals, which travel easily and safely across human skin and are free of the interference common to wireless devices, a team at Korea University in Seoul was impressively able to send information over a distance of 30 centimeters at 10 Mbps.

Don't expect to get plugged directly into the Web and have your body turned into a router, though, as this tech is meant primarily for medical purposes. Unfortunately, current options for patients whose vital signs require constant monitoring entail either tangled messes of cables, or battery-sapping wireless technologies like Bluetooth. According to Sang-Hoon Lee, one of the researchers on the project, the skin-based network would reduce power requirements by 90-percent.

The Korea University crew is working with an unnamed "large electronics manufacturer" to build health-monitoring systems with the new technology and special electrodes. Of course, we could easily see this coming to the consumer market one day, too. Imagine wearing a wireless headset that communicates with your iPhone through your skin, rather than through one of those tacky, hackable Bluetooths. (Blueteeth?) [From: NewScientist, via: TechRadar]

[Ed. note: The article has updated to clarify that Japanese researchers first demoed this technology in 2005.]

Tags: broadband, health, internet, medical, medicine, networking, science, top, web, wireless