Is Technology Digital Communication Killing Human Touch?
Baby Boomers grew up dreaming about the day when they would be able to use a computer. Children these days learn how to unlock smartphones and play games on them even before they can talk or walk. From the old school, bulky computers to sleek devices almost the size of notebooks, technology have undoubtedly come a long way since the 1970s. The question is- to what extent can technology evolve to make our lives better, faster, and easier?
A group of engineers from Pursue University in Indiana, USA, has brought forth a new technology that can transmit digital information through the human touch. That means you may not need a smartphone or any device as such anymore for digital communication. Instead, all you need is your fingertip. Let’s learn a bit more about this technology, its impact, and how it works.
“Internet Within The Body”- What Is The Technology All About?
Engineers at Purdue University designed a prototype to show how our body can act as a link between a device such as a smartphone and a scanner or reader. The engineers proved that it is possible for our bodies are capable of transmit information by touching a surface.
Who came up with the technology?
- Shreyas Sen, an associate professor of computer and electrical engineering at Purdue University, developed ways to use the human body for transmitting digital information.
- David Yang, a graduate student at the same university, demonstrated how direct human touch could direct information transfer.
- Shovan Maity, a Purdue alum, took the lead in the study as a Ph.D. student in Sen’s laboratory.
The prototype they designed couldn’t transfer money yet. But, it is the FIRST technology that could transmit information with the assignment help of a fingertip. Let’s consider the watch to be a prototype. While wearing the watch, you can send online information like a password or a photo to your laptop just by touching the surface of the laptop. This is exactly what the researchers demonstrated in their new study.
Where is the study published?
The study is published in a journal named “Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction” by the Association for Computing Machinery. You may also find the researchers’ findings at the ACM CHI or Association for Computing Machinery’s Computer-Human Interaction conference held in May.
How Does This Technology Work?
As per expert essay writers, here’s how the technology works:
- The technology is built on the basis of the “internet within the body.” Smart wearables such as smartwatches, pacemakers, insulin pumps, etc., can use this ‘internet’ from your body to send information to other devices.
- Shreyas Sen utilized the science of electro quasistatic human body communication to enhance the selectivity and specificity of human touch.
In this YouTube video, for instance, Sen is showing the power of a human body communication transmitter through the watch on his wrist.
- The device takes and sends data throughout his body, thereby making his body a strong communication channel and amplifying his power of touch.
- Now, all he has to do is touch the device or the location where he wants to send information, and that’s it! That’s how he can make this communication through touch highly specific.
- Whether it is about making payments or getting access to a smart doorknob, this technology makes everything possible by sending digital signals throughout your body, thereby eliminating the need for a wire or even a Bluetooth connection.
Let’s say you have opted for online Computer science assignment help from a website that has created a student’s account for you. If this technology gains momentum, then you can log in to your account just by touching the surface of your laptop screen instead of putting in the credentials and going through a hectic process.
What Is The Significance of This Technology?
2020 apparently broke all records in terms of data breaches and cyber attacks on companies, individuals, and governments. Cybercrimes are on the rise since the pandemic struck and more than half of the population resorted to digitization. Sen’s technology, however, shows potential in protecting your data. Here’s how:
- These days when we communicate digitally via a device and internet or Bluetooth connection, the signal tends to radiate all around us. Anybody in the physical space is eligible to hack into it and steal your private and sensitive data.
- The technology brought forth by Sen keeps signals within the body. He could do so by coupling the signals in an electro quasistatic range which is comparatively lower on the electromagnetic spectrum than the Bluetooth signals. The lower electro quasistatic range makes it possible for the technology to transmit information only if you touch the surface.
- The information can transfer only if you touch the surface. It won’t be transmitted even if your fingertip is a centimeter above the surface. This level of precision helps you protect your data and sensitive details such as credit card credentials from hackers.
- Apps like Apple Pay or credit card machines use a technology known as near-field communication to make payments secure. Thus, you can tap a card or scan your phone to make your digital payments using these apps. The technology developed by Sen promises to make this same payment even more secure in a single gesture.
Remember when you were locked out of your hotel room, and you forgot the key card inside? With Sen’s technology, your fingertip is enough to grant you access to the building. You must have seen or even used machines that scan coupon codes, gift cards, etc.
How was the experiment conducted
I have simplified the experiment procedure for your better understanding. Give it a read:
- The researchers asked a person to interact with two adjacent surfaces initially.
- Each surface had three elements- an electrode to touch, a light that indicates if the data has been transferred, and a receiver that will get the data from the finger.
- Let’s say the person touched the surface and hence the electrode. This would make the light on the surface turn on. The light on the surface stayed put, thereby indicating that the data wasn’t leaked.
Thus, no matter how much you try to transfer a photo to your laptop by hovering or waving your hand over the device, it won’t happen. It is because the electrode on the surface needs your direct touch to transfer the data.
The technology hasn’t yet gained full momentum. You need to wear software such as a watch or even a smartphone that will send signals throughout your body to the fingertip. The devices will also have an option that will let you switch off the transmission whenever you like.
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