As electronic devices become smaller, lower in power requirements, and less expensive, we have 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 services and conveniences.
The concept of Personal Area Networks (PANs) is presented to demonstrate how electronic devices on and near the human body can exchange digital information by capacitively coupling Pico ampere currents through the body. Scientists at IBM?s Almaden Research Center perfected the Personal Area Network technology that uses the natural electrical conductivity of the human body to transmit electronic data. A low frequency carrier (less than 1 megahertz) is used, so no energy is propagated, minimizing remote eavesdropping and interference by neighbouring Pans. A prototype PAN system allows users to exchange electronic business cards by shaking hands..