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Store Data in Your Body Without Cyborg Modification

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Thumb drive

A 1GB thumb drive sitting on top of 80-column punched card from an IBM 360 mainframe.

Ian S.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Pranav Mistry has developed Sparsh, a system that enables users to transfer files from one device to another by touching their screens.

"The user touches a data item they wish to copy from a device, conceptually saving it in the user's body," Mistry says. For example, a user could look up the phone number of a pizza restaurant on their laptop, touch the phone number on the screen, and then touch their smartphone keypad. The system would automatically dial the number. The first touch copies the phone number to a temporary file in either a Dropbox or an FTP account, and the second touch retrieves the data. Both devices have to run the software and the user has to be signed into their Dropbox or an FTP account.

Sparsh can be used to transfer any type of data, including photos and Web addresses. The software currently runs as an application for smartphones, tablets, and computers, but Mistry says "the ideal home for Sparsh is to be built into an [operating system], so that it can provide the copy-paste feature across all applications."

From New Scientist
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