Skip to main content

Microsoft Turns Human Body Into Antenna

Microsoft Research presented some interesting technologies at the Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2011). One of the papers receiving one of the 13 best-paper awards was Your Noise is My Command: Sensing Gestures Using the Body as an Antenna (opens in new tab).

In this case, the body isn't transmitting, but instead is picking up electromagnetic noise from objects the body or hand is close to and feeding it to a laptop in a backpack for interpretation. The paper's abstract describes it this way: "Fortunately, home environments frequently offer a signal that is unique to locations and objects within the home: electromagnetic noise. In this work, we use the body as a receiving antenna and leverage this noise for gestural interaction."

I wonder what the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on the Environment will think about this? See the article on their recommendations, including creation of "wave-free" zones, elsewhere in this week's RF Report.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.