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OsteoConduct is a collaborative effort with Prof. Liebschner's group from the Department of Bioengineering. OsteoConduct is a novel technology that leverages the human musculoskeletal system to transmit data and interface users in a low-power, secure, non-intrusive fashion. OsteoConduct employs a mechanical stimulus in form of patterned acoustic vibration, generated by human users or external stimulators, and a low-cost receiver, as simple as an accelerometer or microphone. It is particularly suitable for low data rate communication between implantable or wearable devices, especially as a secure and low-power alternative to wireless body-area network technologies, such as Bluetooth. We have conducted an extensive study of bone conduction characteristics and modulation schemes for digital data communication based on OsteoConduct. We have accomplished prototype designs and user studies for the applications of OsteoConduct in both body-area data communication and interfacing. Our experimental results demonstrate that mechanical stimuli can be reliably transmitted through the human musculoskeletal system with power consumption of multiple mW. We also show that excitations generated by human teeth clacks can be readily employed by users to interact with computers and body-area devices. The key components of our OsteoConduct prototypes are a low-power mechanical stimulator, sensor-based receivers, and signal processing techniques for robust data transmission.

The following papers summarize our most recent effort:

  • Lin Zhong, Diana El-Daye, Brett Kaufman, Nick Tobaoda, Tamer Mohamed, and Michael Liebschner, "OsteoConduct: Wireless body-area communication based on bone conduction,"  in Proc. Int. Conf. Body Area Networks (BodyNets), June 2007.
  • Tamer Mohamed and Lin Zhong, "TeethClick: Input with Teeth Clacks," Technical Report-ECG-1206a, Rice University, December 2006. (PDF) (Video demo)

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