Two Japanese telecoms giants have developed technology that turns the human body into a broadband-paced link that allows email addresses to be exchanged through a simple handshake, a report has said.

The technology, developed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and its subsidiary NTT DoCoMo Inc., uses the body’s conductivity and adds the smarts of a personal digital assistant (PDA), the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

A device attached to a PDA can send and receive weak electrical signals through people, with human bodies as communications circuits, the paper said, citing sources close to the companies.

Apparel and handbags have their own conductivity, allowing an electrical connection to a PDA that can remain in one’s pocket, the paper said.

In this way, people can exchange email addresses, names and phone numbers while shaking hands, with the data automatically written into both their PDAs, the paper said.

The companies have confirmed in an experiment that data can be transmitted at 10 megabits per second, comparable to the speed of a broadband Internet connection, it said.

The technology could allow data communications through door knobs, switches, desks and chairs, the paper said.

It could pave the way to one day being able to pass through railway ticket gates or entering secure buildings with a simple touch.

It could also get a computer to start up with the proper settings as soon as the user sat down, the paper said.