Martin’s Weblog

Personal Computing?

Personal networks, power sources and computing

There is a tendency for equipment to become smaller and more mobile – to such an extent that in the near future the phrases “Personal Computing” and “embedded IT” could have entirely different meanings.

Research from different areas is coming together to suggest what person computing might be like in a few decades or possibly sooner with personal power sources, networks and computing.

One of the problems with mobile computing is power but research in bio-engineering suggests many intriguing ways to use the body as a power source and recent advances in reducing the power requirements of electronic devices could make it possible to run or charge the batteries of some of your gadgets from your own body. There are many ways to do this – Using, body heat, Kinetic energy and from Blood glucose among other methods.

Another problem is with communications and wires – especially as devices get smaller – why not use the electrical properties of your body to transmit information – IBM have been researching this since 1996 but  Microsoft have a patent.   Japan’s NTT DoCoMo is working on a Prototype mobile phone that can transmit information through the human body so that you can could in the future exchange information with other people and devices at the touch of your finger (or other parts of your body).

The last problem is with the portability and the size of our mobile devices. One answer is to build them into items we would normally use – like clothes  for example. If you want to check out someone a bit extreme see the work of Steve Mann.

Looking at the way digital natives treat their mobile phones as an extension of self then it seems like the future human will be some form of human-mobile hybrid – where do I insert the SIM?

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October 7, 2007 - Posted by | ICT, IT and society

1 Comment »

  1. This link describes how kinetic energy used from movement when you walk can be converted by a knee-mounted brace to produce electricity to power your mobile phone;

    http://technology.newscientist.com/article/dn13287-knee-device-makes-phone-charging-a-walk-in-the-park.html

    The device may be used to power prosthetic limbs in the future.

    Comment by Mark Gobin | February 8, 2008 | Reply


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