Researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK and Canada’s York University (published in PLOS One) are less concerned with the kind of texting you do with your phone to tell your roommate to put pants on because you’re on your way home, and more interested in seeing how they could use molecules of alcohol to transmit messages and data.
It’s a lot like how animals and plants send info using molecular signaling, explains the UPI. The scientists worked out a way to make binary signals out of any other kind of signal, then program molecules of evaporated vodka to send those signals.
“We believe we have sent the world’s first text message to be transmitted entirely with molecular communication, controlling concentration levels of the alcohol molecules, to encode the alphabets with single spray representing bit 1 and no spray representing the bit 0,” said the lead researcher.
The researchers tried this system out with a transmission of “O Canada,” being in that country and all. They sent the song a few meters before a receiver grabbed it and decoded it. The devices used in that test were made from products you can buy at an electronics store for about $100, so this wouldn’t even have to be a sophisticated piece of equipment.
This technology could be useful in places where using a phone or radios isn’t the easiest, like in underground tunnels and pipelines. Sending a waft of vapor with a message about mucked up sewage lines or other important news could work in those situations, researchers say.
Meanwhile this does not excuse the awful booze breath that one coworker exudes during every holiday party, so make sure to stay far from her/him and the mistletoe.
Check out a video of the vodka text test below: