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Project overview: Inter-body Signaling

The goal of the project is to send a machine readable signal between two points of a living person. The goal at the end of the quarter is to send a binary message across a person, and to do this in the most efficient manner currently known. This project may evolve into a senior project, where Body Area Network devices are constructed and programed. Possible applications involves contact sharing between phones via (human) handshake, wireless earphones, touch-to-pay blocks in stores, or instant data access to all physically reachable objects.

This project involves three primary stages: broad research, design outline, engineering and execution. In the broad research phase, research papers, patents, and references are collected. At each stage papers are skimmed for further citations, and more materials to collect. The papers are then organized, and skimmed for useful information, and choice papers are perused. The information learned at this stage is used to produce the design constraints. Using the the design constrains the top level schematic (below) is refined and expanded into well defined components and subsystems. Once the subsystems are defined, component engineering can take place.

The broad research phase shouldn╩╝t take more than a couple of days. The reading and the design outline could take a week or more depending on homework load from the other classes.To speed up prototyping as many readily working subsystems should be used when possible. This will bring down, prototype engineering to a few critical subsystems.

What is the size limiting factor of an inter-body signaling apparatus? Could it be built into a cell phone? Does direct and close contact matter? Does this create an unacceptable amount of noise to the other devices? What modulation is best? What data rates can this support? What is the the overall error rate in this device?

I expect to find one question that is more pressing and answerable than the rest. I expect a limiting minimum size for the capacitors and inductors for the bandpass filters. I expect that the system produces an intense amount of noise making the ground and power rails susceptible to latch up. I expect odd behaviors from capacitive touch screens. I expect the project to be completed in under $300.´╗┐

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