Researchers at York University in Toronto have finally found a good use for vodka.
Using a simple setup with a spritzer and a receiver, placed apart from one another on a table, they were able to send the world's first molecular text message. The message was programmed into a series of sprays, and the alcohol was sprayed across the room to a receiver, which determined whether the level of alcohol was increasing, or decreasing. The researchers were able to deliver a simple communication using this rig - O CANADA.
"In the final part of the paper, we demonstrated a practical molecular communication system capable of transmitting short text messages. Although high transmission rates were not achieved in this work, the transmission rates can be significantly improved by using better fans, more sophisticated protocols and detection algorithms, use of multiple chemicals, use of multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) communication, designing better sensors, and using sensor arrays. We leave these for future study," said the researchers in a research article.
In other words, it worked - but there's a lot of improving left to do in order to make this sort of communication reliable. What they have proven is that it is possible, and highly plausible, that future communications could be sent chemically.
Image via York University, YouTube