Human Area Networking Technology


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Ubiquitous services that are genuinely user-friendly to everyone will require technologies that enable communication between people and objects in close proximity.
Focusing on the naturalness, inevitability, and sense of security conveyed by touching in everyday life, which describes Human area network that enables communication by touching, which we call RedTacton.

Here, the human body acts as a transmission medium supporting IEEE 802.3 half-duplex communication at 10Mbit/s. The key component of the transceiver is an electric-field sensor implemented with an electro optic crystal and laser light.

Power constraints play a key role in designing Human Area Networks (HANs) for biomonitoring. To alleviate the power constraints, we advocate a design that uses an asynchronous time encoding mechanisms for representing biomonitoring information and the skin surface as the communication channel.

Time encoding does not require a clock while allows perfect signal recovery; the communication channel is operated below 1 MHz. The ultimate human area network solution to all these constraints of conventional technologies is “intrabody” communication, in which the human body serves as the transmission medium.

The concept of intrabody communication, which uses the minute electric field propagated by the human body to transmit information, was first proposed by IBM [1]. The communication mechanism has subsequently been evaluated and reported by several research groups around the world.

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Human Area Networking Technology

  1. 1. Human Area Network By: Vinayak Nandikal
  2. 2. Introduction to HAN Human Area Networking is a technology that safely turns the surface of the human body into a data transmission path at speeds up to 10 Mbps between any two points on the body. Human body is surrounded by a minute electric field Personal data stored on a transmitter A circuit is created when a person touches a target object Data travels across the body’s natural electric field Information enters a receiver – can activate commands such as unlock door
  3. 3. History of HAN <ul><li>The concept of intra-body communication was first proposed by IBM in 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>This communication mechanism was later evaluated and reported by several research groups around the world. </li></ul><ul><li>All those reported technologies had two limitations </li></ul>
  4. 4. Limitations… <ul><li>The operating range through the body was limited to a few tens of centimeters . </li></ul><ul><li>The top communication speed was only 40 bit/s !! </li></ul><ul><li>These limitations were overcome by NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) located in Tokyo, Japan by using photonic electric field sensors and finally came up with a human area networking technology called ‘ RED TACTON’. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Electro-optic sensor <ul><li>The electro-optic sensor has three key features: </li></ul><ul><li>It can measure electric fields from a device under test (DUT) without contacting it, which minimizes measurement disturbance. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultra wide-band measurement is possible </li></ul><ul><li>It supports one-point contact measurement that is independent of the ground, which is the most significant feature in the present context. </li></ul><ul><li>NTT utilized this third feature to fabricate an intrabody communication receiver for its human area networking technology, which is called Red Tacton. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Overview of HAN <ul><li>Red Tacton is a new Human Area Networking technology that turns the surface of the human body as a safe, high speed network transmission path. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication is possible using any body surfaces, such as the hands, fingers, arms, feet, face, legs or toes. </li></ul><ul><li>Red Tacton works through shoes and clothing as well. </li></ul><ul><li>Red Tacton uses the minute electric field emitted on the surface of the human body for data transmission. </li></ul><ul><li>NTT developed super sensitive Photonic electric field sensor for detecting minute electric field emitted on the surface of the human body. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is Red Tacton? TACTON “ touch-act-on” Meaning “action triggered by touching”. RED It is an auspicious color according to Japanese culture
  8. 8. Figure shows a photograph of the Red Tacton transceiver connected to a PDA and a block diagram of the Red Tacton transceiver developed by NTT. Red Tacton transceiver
  9. 9. <ul><li>The transmitter consists of a transmitter circuit that induces electric fields toward the body and a data sense circuit, which distinguishes transmitting and receiving modes by detecting both transmission and reception data and outputs control signals corresponding to the two modes to enable two-way communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of receive-first half-duplex communication scheme that sends only after checking to make sure that there is no data to receive in order to avoid packet collisions </li></ul><ul><li>Red Tacton takes advantage of the long-overlooked electric field that surrounds the human body. </li></ul>Red Tacton transceiver
  10. 10. How RedTacton works? 1. The Red Tacton transmitter induces a weak electric field on the surface of the body. 2. The Red Tacton receiver senses changes in the weak electric field on the surface of the body caused by the transmitter.  
  11. 11. <ul><li>3. Red Tacton relies upon the principle that the optical properties of an electro-optic crystal can vary according to the changes of a weak electric field. 4. Red Tacton detects changes in the optical properties of an electro-optic crystal using a laser and converts the result to an electrical signal in a optical receiver circuit </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple transceivers can be used simultaneously. This is because RedTacton uses a proprietary CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) protocol that allows multiple access with the same medium from multiple nodes </li></ul>Contd…
  12. 12. Mechanism of communication with RedTacton <ul><li>The naturally occurring electric field induced on the surface of the human body dissipates into the earth. Therefore, this electric field is exceptionally faint and unstable. The photonic electric field sensor developed by NTT enables weak electric fields to be measured by detecting changes in the optical properties of an electro-optic crystal with a laser beam. </li></ul>
  13. 13. System Safety <ul><ul><li>NO current flows into human body from redtacton devices. RedTacton uses the electric field that occurs naturally on the surface of the human body for communication. Transmitter and receiver electrodes are covered with an insulating films. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RedTacton is in conformity to the &quot;Radiofrequency-exposureProtection” standard (RCR STD-38)&quot; issued by the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Features of Red Tacton Red Tacton has three main functional features.                                                                 
  15. 15. Touching, gripping, sitting, walking, stepping and other human movements can be the triggers for unlocking or locking, starting or stopping equipment, or obtaining data. Duplex, interactive communication is possible at a maximum speed of 10Mbps. Because the transmission path is on the surface of the body, transmission speed does not deteriorate in congested areas where many people are communicating at the same time. In addition to the human body, various conductors and dielectrics can be used as transmission media. Conductors and dielectrics may also be used in combination
  16. 16. Applications Four major application fields using Red Tacton are introduced: <ul><li>One to One services </li></ul><ul><li>Intuitive Operations </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul><ul><li>New Behaviour patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Security Applications </li></ul>
  17. 17. 1. One to One services <ul><li>Enable one-to-one services tailored to the user's situation and tastes </li></ul><ul><li>Information recorded in the Red Tacton device is sent to the touched objects. </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate service is provided based on the information received by the Red Tacton receiver. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Elimination of Human Errors </li></ul><ul><li>An alarm sounds automatically to avoid accidental medicine ingestion. </li></ul>RedTacton devices embedded medicine bottles transmit information on the medicines' attributes. If the user touches the wrong medicine, an alarm will trigger on the terminal he is carrying. The alarm sounds only if the user actually touches the medicine bottle, reducing false alarms common with passive wireless ID tags, which can trigger simply by proximity
  19. 19. b). Marketing Applications (context awareness) <ul><li>Touch advertising and receive information. </li></ul>When a consumer stands in front of an advertising panel, advertising and information matching his or her attributes is automatically displayed. By touching or standing in front of items they are interested in, consumers can get more in-depth information.
  20. 20. 2. Intuitive operations <ul><li>Natural movements and actions are the trigger (touch). </li></ul><ul><li>Red Tacton transceivers embedded in two terminals can communicate not only data but also the control or configuration instructions needed to operate devices (broadband & interactive). </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Intuitive Operations </li></ul><ul><li>Touch a printer to print. </li></ul>Print out where you want just by touching the desired printer with one hand and a PC or digital camera with the other hand to make the link.
  22. 22. b). Instant private data exchange <ul><li>Instantaneous private network via personal handshake </li></ul>By shaking hands, personal profile data can be exchanged between mobile terminals on the users. (Electronic exchange of business cards) Communication can be kept private using authentication and encryption technologies.
  23. 23. 3. Personalization <ul><li>Digital lifestyle can be instantly personalized with just a touch. </li></ul><ul><li>A pre-recorded configuration script can be embedded in a mobile terminal with built-in Red Tacton transceiver. </li></ul><ul><li>When another device with Red Tacton capabilities is touched, personalization data and configuration scripts can be downloaded automatically. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Personalization of mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>Just touching a phone, makes it your own. </li></ul>Your own phone number is allocated and billing commences. Automatic importing of personal address book and call history. Examples of similar applications: Room temperature and lighting are customized when a switch in the living room is pressed.
  25. 25. b). Personalization of Automobiles <ul><li>Just sitting on the seat riggers the car to load all its presets, just the way you like </li></ul>The seat position and steering wheel height adjust to match the driver just by sitting in the car. The driver's home is set as the destination in the car navigation system. The stereo plays the driver's favorite song.
  26. 26. 4. New Behaviour pattern <ul><li>Various conductors and dielectrics can be used as Red Tacton </li></ul><ul><li>communication media and this has the potential to create new </li></ul><ul><li>behaviour patterns. </li></ul><ul><li>Walls and partitions can be used as communication media. </li></ul>
  27. 27. a). Conferencing system <ul><li>Connect a network by just putting laptop on the table. </li></ul>An electrically conductive sheet is embedded in the table. A network connection is initiated simply by placing a lap-top on the table. Using different sheet patterns enables segmentation of the table into subnets.
  28. 28. b). Wearable <ul><li>Wireless Headset </li></ul>RedTacton can carry music or video between headsets, mobile devices, mobile phones, etc. Users can listen to music from a Red Tacton player simply by putting on a headset or holding a viewer.
  29. 29. 5. Security Applications <ul><li>Automatic user authentication and log-in with just a touch. </li></ul><ul><li>ID and privileges are recorded in a mobile RedTacton device. </li></ul><ul><li>Corresponding RedTacton receivers are installed at security check points. </li></ul><ul><li>The system can provide authentication and record who touched the device, and when. </li></ul>
  30. 30. a) User verification and lock management at entrance <ul><li>User verification & unlocking with just a touch. </li></ul>Carrying a mobile RedTacton-capable device in one's pocket, ID is verified and the door unlocked when the user holds the doorknob normally. Secure lock administration is possible by combining personal verification tools such as fingerprint ID or other biometric in the mobile terminal. Examples of similar applications: Automated car door lock/unlock just by touching the handle; unlocking a bicycle just by sitting on it. As a pass in amusement facilities.
  31. 31. b). Confidential document management <ul><li>Automatic access log for confidential document storage. </li></ul>A RedTacton receiver in a cabinet where important documents are stored enables lock administration and keeps a record of who accessed documents at what time.
  32. 32. Comparison with other Human communication methods <ul><li>Red Tacton does not require the electrode to be in direct contact with the skin. </li></ul><ul><li>With the electric amperage method, electrode must be in direct contact with the skin. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Contd…. Signal & Detection system Ground line Distance & speed Contact status with the electrode Amperage electric Clear signal lines needed for body and earth ground Elbow to fingertip at approx. 3kbps The electrode must be in constant contact with the body to maintain good conductivity Voltage electric Capacity coupling between the earth ground and equipment Wrist to fingertip at approx. 1kbps Communication possible even when passing through thin insulators Electric field photonics (RedTacton) Capacity coupling between the earth ground and equipment Anywhere on the body at up to 10Mbps Communication possible even through shoes and clothing
  34. 34. Comparison with other network technologies Performance: E: Excellent P: Poor Evaluation criteria Wireless LAN Infrared Red Tacton Transfer speed (Can DVD-quality images be sent?) E P E Performance deterioration during periods of congestion (Simultaneous use by many people in small spaces) P E E Duplex data transfer (Interactive processing) E E E
  35. 35. Red Tacton prototypes NTT has made three types of prototypes: Communicationspeed:10Mbps Protocols : TCP/IP Communication method :Half-duplex Interface: PCMCIA Communicationspeed:10Mbps Protocols :TCP/IP Communication method : Half-duplex Interface: RJ45 (under constructions)
  36. 36. Plans for Commercialization <ul><li>It seems like there was a press release event where they demoed the technology. The first demo was a PDA medication assistant that shows instructions relevant to touched medicine bottles. The second was a museum guide PDA whose contents was fed from a floor-embedded transmitter through a user’s feet. </li></ul><ul><li>NTT plans to develop transceivers with an emphasis on portability that are more compact and less power consumption. Through field testing, NTT will continue to investigate and improve the robustness of Human Area Networking and human body surface communication applications. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Thank You