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Secure human body data devices go on sale

NTT Electronics demonstrated the system last year at CEATEC

We've seen demonstrations using the human body to transmit everything from music to secret codes at multiple technology shows over the years but never expected that anything commercial would arrive before Man went back to the Moon. Looks like we were wrong.

NTT Electronics in Japan says it is actually about to start selling a 'Human Body Communication System' this spring to companies looking to replace their current in-office security systems.

Touch and go

The technique is similar to one the company demonstrated last year for sending digital music from a phone to a pair of headphones using AC electricity flowing through the surface of the skin.

The office system will allow staff with IC identity cards to open doors or other secure places by just touching sensors with their bare hands. The verification data can be read across the skin without the need to even touch the card, so it can be kept in a bag or wallet.

Other uses planned include secure wireless networks created by flowing data through office furniture instead of via radio waves that could be picked up by snoopers. NTT Electronics expects to sell up to ¥30 billion (£140 million) worth of the gear within three years.