Someday, if you're out on the town and spot someone you fancy at the end of the bar, you might be able to pass along your digits using the drink in your hand. Because researchers at Toronto's York University have created a simple system that's able to encode data — like a text message — into puffs of evaporated vodka.
The system uses an Arduino-controlled spray bottle to blast specific concentrations of alcohol across a 3.7m table towards a sensor on the other side. The researchers were successfully able to send a simple "O CANADA" message across the span, but are confident that much larger distances could be covered. To the point where they believe that in emergency situations, the system could replace failed wireless networks to broadcast messages. And radically revolutionise the bar scene — maybe even for the better. [PLOS One via Ars Technica]