November 11, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Shake hands with someone and you can tell volumes about them -- or so it may seem. Hands warm or cold, callused or soft, the handshake strong and vigorous or not. But such old-fashioned analog flesh-pressing may soon be surpassed by the exchange of digital information flowing through human touch. According to Alps Electric, the human body's electrical field can be used to convey digital information during a handshake, or for a number of security purposes. The company -- presenting at CEATEC Japan 2009 -- thinks this technology can be used for personal ID in mobile phones, home security and in vehicles. View Video
Illustration by Tom McKeith
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.