Recently a system called Pulse, described as “communication protocol based on magnetism allowing short-range communication” has been devised by Finnish researchers. Basically system is just an additional medium to WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, and 4G – that enables the smartphones to communicate with other devices.
Magnetic field sensor having main use basically for GPS navigational purposes, was employed in the smartphones by scientists, and when placed near variable magnetic field produced by the electromagnet. Evidence was provided by scientists in working state that Pulse is capable of transmitting digital information of wide variation – from HTML URLs to MP3 Music snippets – this is enabled by converting data into code over different magnetic field.
For some people developing applications, this is an amazing announcement. For example, advertisers using QR codes in printed format on posters unlike their peers could replace the QR codes with small electromagnets allowing them to be regularly updated. The communication of this form has range of only 2 centimeters with very time-consuming transfer speed of minimal 40 bits per second. However, in terms of security as argued by researchers that really small range will be beneficial.
At present, Pulse technology reminds the most of the radio signals from Near Field Communications (NFC). The only problem that NFC faces today from prying eyes, is a short range of 20 centimeters. In other words, culprits are capable of hacking into phones that uses NFC to pay for their bills however with a shorter range in Pulse this vulnerability is lowered.
Vassilis Kostakos, explains that incoming signals that are coming from a range beyond Pulse’s 2cm can be rejected using a method that can be fabricated when the device is in the close presence of a payment processing system. A secure passcode would then be transmitted by magnet, which in turn would start the NFC app.
Another advantage that Pulse has is that it only demand a software to be deployed and every smartphone in the market would support it. The required hardware i.e magnetometer is already integrated into the smartphones and this technology has a lot of potential when it goes in the market as demonstrated by researchers.
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