Study on the Transmission Mechanism for Wearable Device Using the Human Body as a Transmission Channel

Katsuyuki FUJII  Masaharu TAKAHASHI  Koichi ITO  Keisuke HACHISUKA  Yusuke TERAUCHI  Yoshinori KISHI  Ken SASAKI  Kiyoshi ITAO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E88-B   No.6   pp.2401-2410
Publication Date: 2005/06/01
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e88-b.6.2401
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on 2004 International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation)
personal area network,  intra-body communication,  human body,  phantom,  FDTD,  

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Recently, wearable devices which use the human body as a transmission channel have been developed. However, there has been a lack of information related the transmission mechanism of such devices in the physical layer. Electro-magnetic communication trials using human body as transmission media have more than a decade's history. However, most of the researches have been conducted by researchers who just want to utilize the fact and practically no physical mechanisms have been researched until recently. Hence, in previous study, the authors proposed calculation models of the wearable transmitter and the receiver attached to the arm using the FDTD method. Moreover, the authors compared the calculated received signal levels to the measured ones by using a biological tissue-equivalent phantom. However, there was little analysis on each component of the propagated signal. In this paper, the authors clarified the transmission mechanism of the wearable device using the human body as a transmission channel from the view point of the interaction between electromagnetic wave and the human body. First, the authors focused their attention on measuring the each component of the propagated signal using a shielded loop antenna. From these results, the favorable direction of electrodes of the transmitter was proposed to use the human body as a transmission channel. As a result, longitudinal direction is effective for sending the signal to the receiver, compared to the transversal direction. Next, the authors investigated the dominant signal transmission channel, because the question of whether the dominant signal channel is in or around the arm had remained unsettled. To clear this question, the authors proposed the calculation model of an arm wearing the transmitter and receiver placed into a hole of a conductor plate. The electric field distribution and received signal voltage was investigated as a function of the gap between the hole of the conductor plate and the surface of the arm. The result indicated that the dominant signal transmission channel is not inside but the surface of the arm because signal seems to be distributed as a surface wave.