Monday, July 25, 2005

Man Becomes Machine

RedTacton: An innovative Human Area Networking technology that uses the surface of the human body as a transmission path:
- Communication through natural human actions: touching, holding, walking -

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT, headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. President and CEO, Norio Wada) is pursuing research and development of an innovative Human Area Networking technology called RedTacton (*1) 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. Using a novel electro-optic sensor (*2), NTT has already developed a small PCMCIA card-sized prototype RedTacton transceiver (see Fig. 1). RedTacton enables the first practical Human Area Network between body-centered electronic devices and PCs or other network devices embedded in the environment via a new generation of user interface based on totally natural human actions such as touching, holding, sitting, walking, or stepping on a particular spot. RedTacton can be used for intuitive operation of computer-based systems in daily life, temporary one-to-one private networks based on personal handshaking, device personalization, security, and a host of other applications based on new behavior patterns enabled by RedTacton. NTT is committed to moving RedTacton out of the laboratory and into commercial production as quickly as possible by organizing joint field trials with partners outside the company, under NTT's comprehensive producer (*3) program."

Stitch says: this is the kind of stuff that Matrix fans dream of..."Jack me in, I wanna learn Kung Fu" is a vernacular understood by many but only embraced by a few. As the reality of augmenting human capabilities far beyond natural endowments becomes more possible and augmented humans more prevalent, we'll have to come to a better understanding of ourselves and what it means to be truly "human". For myself, I would love to think more faster and process information more efficiently, see better, and in the dark, be able to lift object three thousand times my size and...oh wait...that's my alter ego talking...but seriously, if the option to increase various aspects of my physiology became available, I'd partake.

To learn more about this technology and the applictions envisioned for it today, go here.
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