But today we learn of gadgetry that uses the conductivity of the human body to zap, say, an email address to another body through a handshake, making the humble business card a thing of the past.
Nippon Telegraph and its subsidiary NTT DoCoMo have announced successful trials of a device that attaches to a PDA and uses weak electric currents to link one device to another using the body as a conductor.
The companies say they have been able to transmit data at a rate of 10 megabits per second using the device -- around the speed of a broadband Internet connection.
The Kyodo newswire says the technology could be used to send data from a PDA through door knobs, switches, or across tables at the touch of a charged hand. Potential applications include passing through doors to buildings or ticketing gates at subway stations with the brush of a palm.
You could even simply zap your workstation so that it recognizes you and loads up your preferred settings, the report suggests.
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