RealSnailMail With RFID-Chipped Snails

RealSnailMail is a performance art piece currently under development by Boredom Research. The intent is to harness the power of gastropods to deliver email messages across short distances using special waterproof RFID tags glued to their shells.


(Real Snail Mail from Boredom Research)

In the above illustration, a typical messenger snail has been chipped by using a waterproof glue to affix an RFID tag to its shell. The project will focus on a suitable snail environment (like a fish tank) with several RFID readers installed at different spots.

The project begins with a website that accepts short messages from people on the Internet. These messages are placed into a queue for snail mail delivery.

As a tagged snail first crawls into the range of a reader, the reader will pull a message from the queue, and encode a message onto the chip. The snail then oozes away and eventually comes within range of another reader; at this point, the message is read and transmitted, and another message is taken from the queue for delivery. The very slow speed of snails and flat bottomed tank should eliminate the read problems associated with RFID tag collision.

In creating this project, Boredom Research hopes to contrast the lightspeed artificial world of RFID and Internet technology with the natural world.

"...These contrasting images of a snail moving at snails pace and the promised efficiency and speed increase of RFID tagged products, being rushed to their destination, converged to become snail mail or 'real snail mail'."

Science fiction writer Frank Herbert was also fascinated with the contrast between the artificial technological creations of people and the organic world. See this article on the distrans, a method of communicating with bats over a distance in his 1965 novel Dune.

If this performance art project caught your interest, check out this real-life experiment using pigeons to deliver digital information - Digital Squab Line (DSL) Has High Bandwidth, a project to demonstrate the high data transmission speeds possible with carrier pigeon delivery in Israel.

Read more about RealSnailMail; found this one thanks to Reg.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/11/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Index of related articles:

What is RFID?
How RFID Works
How is RFID used inside a living body?
What can RFID be used for?
Is RFID Technology Secure and Private?
Are There Concerns About How RFID Will Be Used? (Update)
Next-Generation Uses of RFID?
What Are Zombie RFID Tags?
RFID Information Technology Articles
Problems With RFID
Advantages of RFID Versus Barcodes
RFID Glossary
Contactless Credit Card Advantages
Contactless Credit Card Disadvantages

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.