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A View from Mara E. Vatz

Mind or Microsoft?

CNET reports that “Microsoft has been awarded a patent for using human skin as a power conduit and data bus.” This means that your PDA (in one hand) can send a phone number to the cell phone (in your other…

  • June 23, 2004

CNET reports that “Microsoft has been awarded a patent for using human skin as a power conduit and data bus.” This means that your PDA (in one hand) can send a phone number to the cell phone (in your other hand) without any effort on your part. (Here’s the patent.) With a “personal area network,” or PAN, Microsoft aims to reduce the redundancy of carrying multiple mobile devices, many of which have overlapping hardware, software, and data. Eventually, all your data could be stored in a chip (embedded discreetly in an earring) and retrieved at will by any mobile device in your posession. This concept reminds me of a process most people used to use–which involved storing a phone number in our mind, transmitting it via the nervous system to our hand (either one!), and dialing the phone ourselves.

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