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The Skin Grid

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The Skin Grid

Back in the old days in Engineering school, I remember setting my digital multi-meter (a souped-up voltage meter), to the most sensitive voltage level, press the leads against my skin and marvel at my body producing tiny and erratic amounts of voltage.

Today Microsoft took that concept one step further by patenting a technology to use skin to transmit power to devices attached to the human body. If you think about, it makes perfect sense. Like it or not, we are becoming more Cyborg-like. People now have devices hanging from every belt-loop and each device requires power and a way to communicate with other devices. As we move into the wearable device age, the skin is a perfect conduit to power these devices and move data between them.

It remains to be seen how useful and reliable a conductor the skin is. For example, would ultra-dry skins or overly oily skins cause grid disruptions? Will microsoft introduce a new body soap to enhance skin’s data transfer rates? Will natural body voltage and brain waves ever be harnessed to power Personal Area Networks?

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