It’s amazing what we can do now with well-developed technology, but that also comes with a big downside: bad guys have leveled up their bad deeds too.
That’s why researchers at Purdue University in Indiana have been looking for ways to prevent hackers from accessing data networks, especially those who work by intercepting signals from one device to another. Their solution? To turn our very own bodies into a closed network, where no hacker can ever penetrate.
The team, led by electrical and computer engineering assistant professor, Shreyas Sen, has developed a prototype the size of a thick wrist-watch that can send signals straight to our skin.
“We’re connecting more and more devices to the human body network from smartwatches and fitness trackers to head-mounted virtual reality displays,” Sen says regarding the project. “The challenge has not only been keeping this communication within the body so that no one can intercept it, but also getting higher bandwidth and less battery consumption.”
According to a report on New Atlas, it works by using Electro-Quasistatic Human Body Communications (EQS-HBC) and the “conductive properties of the body to transmit a low-frequency, carrier-less radio signal along the interface between the skin and its surroundings”, resulting in a clear signal that can only transmit within one centimeter of our bodies. This, in turn, creates a link that is “extremely hard to hack”, but also “uses 100 times less energy than a regular Bluetooth connection.”
In the future, the researchers are hoping that this new development could lead to more secure and private connections as well as more security in terms of medical technology.