World's First Molecular Text Message Sent Using Vodka

After text messaging 'O Canada' using a chemical signal from evaporated vodka, York University researchers claim their simple text messaging system can be used where conventional wireless technology fails. "Chemical signals can offer a more efficient way of transmitting data inside tunnels, pipelines, or deep underground structures," says electrical engineering professor Andrew Eckford. With the help of a tabletop fan, the chemical signal was sent over 13 feet across the lab. It was then demodulated by a receiver that measured the rate of change in concentration of the alcohol molecules, picking up whether the concentration was increasing or decreasing. "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 alphabet, with single spray representing bits and no spray representing the bit zero," says York University doctoral candidate Nariman Farsad. A future application of molecular communication could be at the nanoscale, with miniature robots carrying out tasks such as targeting drugs to cancer cells.