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PIC MCU communicates with devices through human body

01 Mar 2013  | Stephen Evanczuk

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The BodyCom Development V1.0 Framework by Microchip Technology makes use of the human body as a secure communications link in designs based on Microchip 8-, 16-, and 32bit PIC MCUs. BodyCom is activated by coupling capacitively to the human body and provides secure bidirectional communications between one or more wireless units and a centralised controller. The device is ideal for personal security, access control, consumer and medical applications.

BodyCom allows engineers to lower system costs by eliminating the need for wireless transceivers, antennas, or even external crystals due to its low-frequency operation. According to Microchip, BodyCom also eliminates the cost and complexity of certification because it is complies with FCC Part 15-B for radiated emissions.

Microchip BodyCom Development V1.0 Framework

BodyCom uses the human body as a secure communications channel between base units and mobile units such as key fobs.

Key features and benefits:

Simpler implementation

 • No RF antenna design necessary
 • Low-frequency design using common microcontroller and AFE frequencies (125kHz / 8MHz), no external crystals needed
 • Complies with FCC Part 15-B, Radiated Emissions
 • Lower overall BOM, compared to existing technologies
Lower power consumption

 • No wireless transceiver required for two-way communication
 • Not using high-power inductive fields
More secure communication channel

 • Provides bidirectional authentication using the human body
 • Prevents the "Relay Attack" problem typical in PKE solutions
In addition, BodyCom supports advanced encryption solutions such as KeeLoq Technology with AES-128.

The BodyCom Development V1.0 Framework is free and available now. Microchip is also providing a BodyCom development kit for $149, available now.

Here's a video introduction to BodyCom:

For more information, visit Microchip.

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