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Annie Cain


Publications by Annie Cain (bibliography)

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Partridge, Kurt, Dahlquist, Bradley, Veiseh, Alireza, Cain, Annie, Foreman, Ann, Goldberg, Joseph and Borriello, Gaetano (2001): Empirical measurements of intrabody communication performance under varied physical configurations. In: Marks, Joe and Mynatt, Elizabeth D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 14th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology November 11 - 14, 2001, Orlando, Florida. pp. 183-190. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/502348.502381

Intrabody communication (IBC) is a wireless communications technology that uses a person's body as the transmission medium for imperceptible electrical signals. Because communication is limited to the vicinity of a person's body, ambiguities arising from communication between personal devices and environmental devices when multiple people are present can, in theory, be solved simply. Intrabody communication also potentially allows data to be transferred when a person touches an IBC-enabled device. We have designed and constructed an intrabody communication system, modeled after Zimmerman's original design, and extended it to operate up to 38.4Kbps and to calculate signal strength. In this paper, we present quantitative measurements of data error rates and signal strength while varying hand distance to transceiver plate, electrode location on the body, touch plate size and shape, and several other factors. We find that plate size and shape have only minor effects, but that the distance to plate and the coupling mechanism significantly effect signal strength. We also find that portable devices, with poor ground coupling, suffer more significant signal attenuation. Our goal is to promote design guidelines for this technology and identify the best contexts for its effective deployment.

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