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Get streaming video of your innards using ultrasound

For when there's nothing else on Netflix.
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Current medical implants use radio waves to talk to receivers outside the human body at a paltry 50Kb per second. Fortunately, there's a faster way! And we already use it to check on babies (and pumping hearts) in real-time: ultrasound. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have used ultrasonic waves that travel fast enough through flesh to deliver streaming video.


To simulate the human soft tissue that slows radio waves, scientists hung slabs of pork loin and beef liver in water tanks and fired data through the mixtures. They achieved 30Mb of data transfer per second — about 1000 times the maximum speed that existing bodily implants achieve via radio waves.

That 30mb/s is fast enough to stream Netflix, but the real value will be in broadcasting live video and other data from within the body. Currently, video feeds require a bulky receiver sitting just outside the body. Possible, but not comfortable.

The scientists still have to test data transmission through multiple organs, which may have different thicknesses. This might slow things down some, but we won't know until they throw more meat in front of the signal.

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