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The Internet of Bodies: The Human Body as an Efficient and Secure Wireless Channel
  • Abdulkadir Celik ,
  • Ahmed Eltawil
Abdulkadir Celik
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

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Ahmed Eltawil
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Taking a cue from the Internet of Things, the Internet of Bodies (IoB) can be defined as a network of smart objects placed in, on, and around the human body, allowing for intra- and inter-body communications. This position paper aims to provide a glimpse into the opportunities created by implantable, injectable, ingestible, and wearable IoB devices. The paper starts with a thorough discussion of application-specific design goals, technical challenges, and enabling of communication standards. We discuss the reason that the highly radiative nature of radio frequency (RF) systems results in inefficient systems due to over-extended coverage that causes interference and becomes susceptible to eavesdropping. Body channel communication (BCC) presents an attractive, alternative wireless technology by inherently coupling signals to the human body, resulting in highly secure and efficient communications. The conductive nature of body tissues yields a better channel quality, while the BCC’s operational frequency range (1-100 kHz) eliminates the need for radio front-ends. State-of-the-art BCC transceivers can reach several tens of Mbps data rates at pJ/b energy efficiency levels that support IoB devices and applications. Furthermore, as the cyber and biological worlds meet, security risks and privacy concerns take center stage, leading to a discussion of the multi-faceted legal, societal, ethical, and political issues related to technology governance.
Sep 2022Published in IEEE Internet of Things Magazine volume 5 issue 3 on pages 114-120. 10.1109/IOTM.001.2100209