Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, designed a wireless antenna that channels signals along human skin could broadcast signals over your body to connect up medical implants or portable gadgets. The new power-efficient approach could make more of established medical devices like pacemakers or help future implants distributed around the body work together.

Skin-tenna works by taking advantage of the creeping wave effect that allows waves to travel along a surface, due to mismatches between the air and the surface, and allows wireless devices (like pacemakers) to communicate more efficiently with devices anywhere on the body. Signals are channeled out sideways along the skin by this reflection and the conducting plate. That makes the antenna more efficient, which could double the battery life of body-worn gadgets.

The future may be filled with wearable device are powered by body heat orwater or bacteria and communicate by sending signals along the surface of our skin. Now that’s a future that sounds exciting.