Vodka, when used correctly, can be a great social lubricant for people. But for computers, using vodka to transmit messages can be a bit overwhelming, it turns out. Apparently, the computers get “too saturated with vodka to receive more messages,” according to researchers from Stanford University.
Before you say, “duh,” drunk computers talking to each other isn’t really that crazy of an idea. Nariman Farsad, the researcher behind the concept, found that sending messages between computers via liquid chemicals is a viable theory that could be the next big thing in internet communications. Instead of sending messages between computers via electromagnetic waves, the messages are carried chemically through the liquid. Just so long as the liquid isn’t vodka.
Liquid is wireless, affordable, and doesn’t rely on electronic grids. Computers that use liquid chemical messaging “could function in places where typical electromagnetic communications systems struggle, such as under water or in places containing lots of metal,” Taylor Kubota explains in press release from Stanford.
Why would this matter? Think secret messages, robots, and needing to send computer messages when the world is ending and the electric grid goes out. Another use could be medical. In-body nanotechnology could communicate using the liquids in the human body, eliminating the need for wires or high-frequency signals. We’re talking high-brow science fiction stuff, here.
This is where vodka comes in. Farsad first started testing vodka as a messaging medium while studying computer engineering and computer science at York University in Ontario, Canada. His vodka messenger was the first experimental chemical texting system ever built. Just like with humans, though, too much vodka can send things downhill real fast.
Farsad has since moved on from using vodka (for computer messaging, at least). He now uses an acid (like vinegar) or a base (like glass cleaner) that work exactly like the ones and zeros that computers use to talk to each other. The acid and base cancel each other out, which handles that whole overloaded with vodka problem.
Farsad still has a long way to go until his liquid messaging is perfected, but at least he’s cleared one thing up: Computers are just as bad at communicating when too much vodka is involved as humans are.
h/t Network World