Two researchers send a text message using vodka

Ars Technica » Scientific Method 2013-12-19

Two researchers at York University have worked out a way to communicate between two points using vodka evaporated into the air. They used their system to message the lyrics of “O Canada” between two points, leading them to conclude that in times of need, when there is no cellular reception, it would be possible to text-message using this system.

The authors of the paper, published Thursday, used specific concentration levels of the vodka to represent bits 1 and 0. They wafted the “message” across 12 feet in the lab to the receiving unit, which read out the message as it detected the concentration of vodka in the air rising or falling over time.

The process sounds slow and short-range, but the researchers suggest that it could work for closed environments that don’t have the benefit of a cellular or Wi-Fi signal. They cite the example of the clogged London sewer system as one where robots could have been deployed below ground and have relayed their findings via the molecular communication system.

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