We’ve written before about how handy mesh networks would be for wearable technology, and how close ANT+ comes to that goal. Now comes a researcher who suggests that a whole new wireless networking standard at frequencies of around 10 to 20 GHz (WiFi runs at 2.4 and 5 GHz), specifically for on-body networks.
To connect devices in such close quarters, you don’t need much in the way of bandwidth and you don’t need much range, but you do need the ability to get signals perhaps from inside your body, too.
The frequencies proposed by Andrew Sheehy are in the J and Ku bands, currently used for radar and satellite communications, so there would be some formal standards work required. For a close look at specific frequency allocations, we’ve always loved this chart (be prepared to zoom in; it’s very detailed.) and this wiki.
Rather than all devices talking to a smartphone or other communications gateway to the world, Sheehy proposes that the devices talk to a central wearable hub, which could also be a functional device, which then solely does the negotiating with the gateway. That would save power on both the gateway and on the individual devices.
It’s a strong concept. Let’s see if it has legs.