Panasonic has developed a data transmission system that can exchange information through human touch.
A prototype human body communication module employs electric-field communication technology to achieve "thing-to-thing, human-to-human and human-to-thing" communication. The module sends data at up to 100kbps through a radio field on a person's skin. When they touch an object or person with a suitable transreceiver, data can be exchanged.
The device is on show at this week's Ceatec electronics show in Japan.
For example, a person can hold a color-coded ball. When they touch a sensor connected to a lamp, data on the color of the ball is sent to the lamp and it changes color to match.
Panasonic says that the tecnology might be used in the future for more practical purposes, such as exchanging contact information with people through a handshake or unlocking a door by simply placing a handle on a door knob.
For now, the technology is still too big to fit inside something practical, like a wristwatch or smartphone.