As electronic devices become smaller, lower in power requirements, and less expensive, we have begun to adorn our bodies with personal information and communication appliances. Such devices include cellular phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), pocket video games, and pagers. Currently, there is no method for these devices to share data. Networking these devices can reduce functional i/o redundancies and allow new conveniences and services.
Human society is entering an era of ubiquitous computing when networks are seamlessly interconnected and the information is always accessible at our fingertips. The practical implementation of ubiquitous services requires three levels of connectivity:
- Wide Area Networks (WAN), typically via the Internet, to remotely connect all types of servers and terminals;
- Local Area Networks (LAN), typically via Ethernet or WiFi connectivity among all the information and communication appliances in offices and homes and
- Human Area Networks (HAN) for connectivity to personal information, media and communication appliances within the much smaller sphere of ordinary daily activities.
Red Tacton is a break-throw technology that uses the surface of the human body as a safe, high-speed network transmission path. In the past, Bluetooth, infrared communications (IrDA), radio frequency ID systems (RFID), and other technologies have been proposed to solve the connectivity problem. But Red Tacton takes a different technical approach. So we, in this paper are explaining the unique new functional features and enormous potential of Red Tacton as a Human Area Networking technology.
We are heading toward an electronic future where information will be accessible at our fingertips, whenever and wherever needed. Some of the computing and communication equipment required to provide this intimate and immediate access to information will be incorporated into our attire. Just as a glance at today’s wristwatch saves a trip to the nearest clock, a glance at tomorrow’s wristwatch will replace finding a terminal to check e-mail.
Red Tacton is a new Human Area Networking technology that uses the surface of the human body as a safe, high-speed network transmission path. Red Tacton is a break-through technology that, for the first time, enables reliable high-speed HAN. In the past, Bluetooth, infrared communications (IrDA), radio frequency ID systems (RFID), and other technologies have been proposed to solve the “last meter” connectivity problem. However, they each have various fundamental technical limitations that constrain their usage, such as the precipitous fall-off in transmission speed in multi-user environments producing network congestion.
WHAT IS RED TACTON?
Red Tacton was introduced by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) who combined touch and action to coin the term Tacton, and then added the word Red – a warm color – to emphasize warm and cordial communications, creating the name RedTacton. It is a technology that uses the surface of the human body as a safe, high-speed network transmission path.
- RedTacton uses the minute electric field emitted on the surface of the human body. Technically, it is completely distinct from wireless and infrared.
- A transmission path is formed at the moment a part of the human body comes in contact with a RedTacton transceiver. Physically separating ends the contact and thus ends communication.
- Using RedTacton, communication starts when terminals carried by the user or embedded in devices are linked in various combinations according to the user’s natural physical movements.
- Communication is possible using any body surfaces, such as the hands, fingers, arms, feet, face, legs or torso. RedTacton works through shoes and clothing as well.
RedTacton has three main functional features they are given as follows,
Touch: Touching, gripping, sitting, walking, stepping and other human movements can be the triggers for unlocking or locking, starting or stopping equipment, or obtaining data.
Broadband & Interactive: Bandwidth does not deteriorate even with duplex operations and simultaneous access by many users! 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.
- Any media: 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.
RedTacton takes a different technical approach. Instead of relying on electromagnetic waves or light waves to carry data, RedTacton uses weak electric fields on the surface of the body as a transmission medium.
- The RedTacton transmitter induces a weak electric field on the surface of the body.
- The RedTacton receiver senses changes in the weak electric field on the surface of the body caused by the transmitter.
- RedTacton relies upon the principle that the optical properties of an electro-optic crystal can vary according to the changes of a weak electric field.
- RedTacton detects changes in the optical properties of an electro-optic crystal using a laser and converts the result to an electrical signal in an optical receiver circuit.
Red Tacton has a wide variety of applications, some of the applications are as follows:
ONE TO ONE SERVICES:
Enable one-to-one services tailored to the user’s situation and tastes.
- Attribute information recorded in the RedTacton device is sent to the touched objects.
- The appropriate service is provided based on the attribute information received by the RedTacton receiver.
Elimination of human error:
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.
- Avoidance of risk at construction sites (an alarm sounds if special equipment is handled by anyone other than supervisors)
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. Inside a shop, shoppers can view related information on their mobile terminals immediately after touching a product.
- 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.
- Complicated configurations are reduced by downloading device drivers “at first touch”.
- Transfer songs to portable music players from notebook PCs with just a touch.
Instant Private Data Exchange:
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.
- Group photos taken with digital cameras are instantly transferred to individual’s mobile terminal.
- Diagrams written on whiteboards during meetings are transferred to individual’s mobile terminals on the spot.
PERSONALISATION OF MOBILE PHONES:
- Your own phone number is allocated and billing commences.
- Automatic importing of personal address book and call history.
- The PC is configured to the user’s specifications simply by touching
PERSONALIZATION OF AUTOMOBILE:
- 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.
An electrically conductive sheet is embedded in the table.
- A network connection is initiated simply by placing a laptop on the table.
- Using different sheet patterns enables segmentation of the table into subnets.
- Walls and partitions can be used as communication media, eliminating construction to install electrical wiring.
- Ad hoc networking using conductive liquid sprays is possible.
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.
- Connecting head-mounted displays.
USER VERIFICATION MANAGEMENT:
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.
COMMUNICATION IN NEW DOMAIN:
Potential for use as a communication method in outer space and underwater.
Potential for use as a communication method with devices inside the human body.
- RedTacton does not require the electrode be in direct contact with the skin.
- High-speed communication is possible between two arbitrary points on the body.
- With the electric amperage method, a clear signal line and the ground line are required. With the electric voltage method, the capacity coupling can substitute. Therefore, the electrode does not have to be in direct contact with the skin.
RedTacton has a wide range of unique new functional features and enormous potential as a Human Area Networking technology. NTT is committed to quickly identifying and opening up those application areas with the most commercial promise for RedTacton, a business development process to be coordinated under NTT’s.
This technology definitely stands out with perfection, when the transfer of data is fast, feasible and more importantly reliable. So, in a few years from now, everything is going to fall under this super technology.