Engineers at Nippon Telephone & Telegraph (NTT, Tokyo, Japan) have
developed three separate prototype devices that use a new electric
field/photonics method allowing the surface of the body to be used as a
safe, high-speed network transmission path. Called "RedTacton," a
transmission path is formed at the moment a part of the human body
comes in contact with a RedTacton transceiver. Communication, possible
with any body surface upon touching, starts when terminals carried by
the user or embedded in devices are linked in various combinations
according to the user's natural, physical movements.

The transmitter induces a weak electric field across the surface of the
body, sending data by creating fluctuations in the field. Data is
received using a photonic electric field sensor that combines an
electro-optic crystal and a laser light to detect the field
fluctuations. The field is strong enough to carry through clothes and
shoes, but not strong enough to shock the user.

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