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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