If you're a regular reader of Engadget then you know the two best means of securing research funding are: (1) claim you're developing a robotic companion for the elderly or, (2) somehow link yourself to the über product du jour, iPod. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) took up the latter approach yesterday by unveiling an iPod nano which communicates with earphones via your body's ability to pump electrical signal. Oh sure, the prototype requires the user to keep a finger pressed to the iPod to close the circuit and there's always risk of a nasty infection after implanting the 10-microwatt/2Mbps chip in your forearm but hey, prototype or not think of the time you'll save not having to untangle your headphone cables every morning. Hey KAIST, don't forget to pay out royalties to Microsoft when this goes big 'cause they hold patent No. 6,754,472 (source of picture) detailing the use of human skin as a power conduit and data bus, mkay? Apparently the prototype was demonstrated without humans, but come on, you know some undergrad meat-sack went and secretly "sacrificed" himself for the cause...wouldn't you?

[Via MobileMag]

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New iPod nano uses human skin to transmit audio