Monday, January 07, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, December 18 2007] Koreans Researching Human Body as Data Cable

You're holding your MP3 player in one hand and your computer in the other, and music files stored on the PC are being passed to the music player -- through your body. It sounds like a scene from a science fiction movie, but the technology is real.

Japanese telecommunications giant NTT has succeeded in transmitting MP3 files without a cable through the human body and several Korean companies are busy researching and developing similar technologies with an eye to profiting from them.

According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office on Monday, in 2004 there was just one patent application for technology to transmit files such as photos, video clips and MP3s between portable gadgets like mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players. That figure grew to nine in 2005 and 25 in 2006. In 2007, 14 such patents had been applied for as of September. Of those, Koreans have applied for 69 percent and foreigners have applied for the rest.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute is one of the Korean organizations that is researching and developing technologies that utilize the human body as a vehicle for data transmission.

"We're researching technologies that can transmit data through human body as fast as existing broadband Internet connections, with speeds of 10 megabits per second," said ETRI's Dr. Kang Sung-won.

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