An extremely interesting article from the Economist hints at the possibility of bidding farewell to electrical signals as the prime means of wireless communication.
The article explains that chemical based communication as found in nature-animals do it (your dog leaving urine samples replete with telling “chemical markers” at every nook and corner during his walks or internal communications within the human body are examples), could be used to transmit data which would be read by sensors.
Present trials are crude at best, with very low speeds, but there is hope for higher data transmission becoming a reality in the future especially if messages can be encoded in the molecules themselves.
A particularly useful application of such technology is in disaster related search and rescue operations where the situation does not permit normal mobile communications. This happens when a building collapses as mobile services are not of much under the debris. However a group of robots could go under the collapsed material and leave each other chemical messages about what areas were searched and what has been found.
Another lesson to learn is that we should not preemptively put all our eggs in one basket assuming that a particular technology is the best-please see my post titled “Disruptive Technology and Public Funding of High Speed Broadband Networks
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