York University researchers in Canada have managed to send a text message using vodka and a desk fan. In the experiment conducted.
A whole new meaning to the words "drunk text."
In the conducted experiment, they assigned different concentration levels of vodka to represent bits 1 and 0, effectively encoding the entire alphabet using a string of vodka at varying strengths. This signal was then sprayed 12 feet across a room and decoded by a receiver, which measured the increase and decrease of alcohol concentration. Once interpreted, the varying levels spelled out "O Canada."
So why did they do this? Besides something to show off about, Professor Andrew Eckford, the study's conductor, concludes that chemical signals can reach areas wireless signals cannot, such as underground or in pipelines. Plants and animals use a transfer of molecules like this (not with alcohol, but pheromones) to transmit messages over a long range. And we could eventually see this being used to target cancer cells, as Eckford's partner researcher Dr. Weisi Guo from the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick suggested.
"They can also be used to communicate on the nano scale, for example in medicine where recent advances mean it's possible to embed sensors into the organs of the body or create miniature robots to carry out a specific task such as targeting drugs to cancer cells," he comments.
While this seems far-fetched on the surface, to go from a vodka-infused text to cancer relief, molecular communication is biocompatible and requires little energy. It doesn't seem that much of a stretch for the near future.
Either that or they've just revolutionised the SMS.