Vodka messaging

If you think you’re a better communicator after a few drinks then this next story is for you. Researchers at York University have found a new medium for sending text messages. Vodka. Yes, vodka.

A quick pour, type a message, spray, and there it is. It’s the era of vodka messaging.

Andrew Eckford is the Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at York: “We think this is the first effort in the world to actually pass a text message using alcohol like we did.”

Currently most of our communication is done through radio waves, travelling through the air. Eckford came up with the idea to communicate using liquid vapour. So he teamed up with Ph.d candidate Nariman Farsad. They chose vodka because it is cheap, available, safe, and as Nariman puts it: “Hopefully that will that will encourage them to use our set up. But some vodka and have a sip or two and do some experiments. Because experiments can be boring.”

So this is the entire experiment, which seems relatively simple but it’s really quite amazing. You enter the information here and it’ll travel through this wire into the bottle of vodka which will then spray onto the receiver and in a couple of seconds, you’ve got a message on the screen. It took about 4 months to get it right. The first text simple, but exciting.

Farsad said: “I was a bit jumping around, maybe a bit, and then I did the demo with Andrew and then he was excited, he was also jumping around.”

The advantage of communicating through liquid is that you don’t need line of sight, the signal can travel anywhere the liquid is, like an ocean, lake, or even a sewer. Right now, it only amounts to a good party trick. But Eckford says this could open up a whole new world: “In the future this could unlock amazing technologies in nano medicine. Little tiny robots that swim through your body and perform surgery or target drugs to tumors or something like that. So the future’s very bright.”