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Submission + - Finding out how proprietary wireless link works

reso5 writes: I am doing academic research on the field of wireless body area networks (BAN). The most used body area network (if not discussing Bluetooth) seems tobe the 5 kHz pulse (analog) inductive link between common heart beat sensor belts and wrist-top sports computers. The technology was developed long time ago, in the end of 70's by professor Säynäjäkangas, who started his own company, Polar Electro, which seems to still lead the market, in spite of competition. The technology of a simple 5 kHz pulse has long been free of patents, but the coded technology (two-pulse) is still protected. What is more interesting than just transmission of a simple heart beat pulse, is that the same technology has been extended by Polar Electro to provide also a link between GPS sensors and Step Counters and these wrist-top computers. There is, thus, digital data sent through the same 5 kHz BAN, somehow multiplexed not to disturb the heart beat pulse connection. I have had a GPS + heart beat sensor + wrist-top computer combo from this company for months and I can tell it works, albeit the link between the wrist-top and the GPS sensor seems to break sometimes.
The technology is probably protected by patents, but there seems to be now openly available information how this wireless BAN works — not even for research purposes. Patents (and applications) do not always provide enough information how a technology works. It is, naturally, not possible to prevent an able researcher to listen to the signals to reverse engineer the link. What I ask from Slashdot readership is, has anyone already studied how this 5 kHz BAN works and is there any research available to read and refer to. I stress that my purpose is solely on research, the technology is probably strongly protected by patents. Polar Electro provides to public notoriously little information on how these devices work. Is FCC given any information that can be used?

Comment Policy (Score 2, Interesting) 163

Why is there no policy in the government that means his use of another company to remove data from his system was an automatic breach with serious consequences. I have implemented that policy in my company, namely don't install unapproved software or attempt to change any setting at all without IT approval.

"If Diet Coke did not exist it would have been neccessary to invent it." -- Karl Lehenbauer