] Wow, someone finally commercialized body pan technology!
] Now, here is the issue. If my bluetooth system had the same
] cryptographic properties would I need this. I could still use
] touch as a user interface in most device applications. You
] could have a doorknob detect when it was touched. And an RF
] transceiver is going to be more comfortable then something
] which must make good physical contact with the skin.
] The only applications for which this would not work would be
] person to person handshake data sharing...
[ That's a good point. I have a general bias against radio things, which I can't really explain completely, but I just feel better when the data is point to point over a physical medium. From a pure application standpoint, however, you're right that the convenience of a short range wireless transciever probably trumps this, while offering a lot of the same functionality.
In the midst of their demo page, they note some other applications, like making medecine bottles transmitters, and having them trigger an alarm on your terminal if you picked up medecine not meant for you. That doesn't really work over radio as well.
Also, they note that radio technology gets more complicated in crowded spaces. If you're in a train station, and want to buy a ticket, for example, the radio space is going to be congested. The logistics become easier if the linkage is made by touch.
I agree though, that the key hurdle here is how to attach a transceiver without it being either invasive, uncomfortable, or a burden. Not to mention the wire you'd need to connect from the transceiver to your device. The simplest and least cool way would be have the device in a holster and a little wire over the edge of your pants, where the transceiver could sit on your waist or hip. That's not useful for someone who wants to wear a dress, or not look like a geek, of course. It's the one thing i didn't really see them tackle amongst the rest of their info.
The best idea i've come up with is a watch. That has good skin contact and wouldn't offend our existing fasion modes. As a PDA, a watch offers a bad form factor, but with 10Mb, you might be able to make the watch into the cpu and storage, and then simply make the hip-top/palm-top/smart-phone act as something like a dumb terminal -- a remote display device for the actual computer that's inside the watch. For automatic things, in which devices autonegotiate (authentication, etc) or for those requiring simple input (like authorizing data transfers/purchases/etc.) the watch could easily handle that with even a small display and a couple of buttons. Obviously, putting that much gear into a watch would require some impressive miniaturization, but not revolutionary changes, i don't think. -k]