For German hacker/inventor Dennis de Bel, smoke is the new medium via which he’ll communicate secretly, and not via texts, images or videos. The new SMS aka Smoke Messaging Service employs an add-on hardware for the iPhone, which provides for a safe, long-distance and visual communication for free.

iphone case smoke signal 1

Working of the Smoke Messaging Service-

On a button’s push, a lamp oil is heated and vaporized, smoking up a little cloud up in the air in front of the iPhone’s camera. The cloud is then picked up by the camera and translated/decoded in real time. But that follows later, says the inventor. For now, the users should be aware of the codes and signals to make use of the new SMS, he adds. Like three puffs implies ‘hello’, five puffs means ‘hello, I’m coming home later’ and so on.

Smoke was one of the earliest medium that facilitated long distance visual communication. Even today, smoke is used by the College of Cardinals to publicize the selection of a new Pope.