Enabling Covert Body Area Network using Electro-Quasistatic Human Body Communication

Publication Title
Scientific Reports
Publication/Creation Date
March 11 2019
Debayan Das (creator)
Shovan Maity (creator)
Baibhab Chatterjee (creator)
Shreyas Sen (creator)
Purdue University (creator)
Media Type
Journal Article
Persuasive Intent
Discursive Type

Radiative communication using electro-magnetic (EM) fields amongst the wearable and implantable devices act as the backbone for information exchange around a human body, thereby enabling prime applications in the fields of connected healthcare, electroceuticals, neuroscience, augmented and virtual reality. However, owing to such radiative nature of the traditional wireless communication, EM signals propagate in all directions, inadvertently allowing an eavesdropper to intercept the information. In this context, the human body, primarily due to its high water content, has emerged as a medium for low-loss transmission, termed human body communication (HBC), enabling energy-efficient means for wearable communication. However, conventional HBC implementations suffer from significant radiation which also compromises security. In this article, we present Electro-Quasistatic Human Body Communication (EQS-HBC), a method for localizing signals within the body using low-frequency carrier-less (broadband) transmission, thereby making it extremely difficult for a nearby eavesdropper to intercept critical private data, thus producing a covert communication channel, i.e. the human body. This work, for the first time, demonstrates and analyzes the improvement in private space enabled by EQS-HBC. Detailed experiments, supported by theoretical modeling and analysis, reveal that the quasi-static (QS) leakage due to the on-body EQS-HBC transmitter-human body interface is detectable up to <0.15 m, whereas the human body alone leaks only up to ~0.01 m, compared to >5 m detection range for on-body EM wireless communication, highlighting the underlying advantage of EQS-HBC to enable covert communication.
HCI Platform
Relation to Body
Related Body Part
Entire Body
Marketing Keywords

Date archived
April 27 2020
Last edited
July 5 2021
How to cite this entry
Debayan Das, Shovan Maity, Baibhab Chatterjee, Shreyas Sen, Purdue University. (March 11 2019). "Enabling Covert Body Area Network using Electro-Quasistatic Human Body Communication". Scientific Reports. Springer Nature Publishing. Fabric of Digital Life. https://fabricofdigitallife.com/Detail/objects/4444