October 17, 2013 10:26 am
Have you ever been underwater and thought, “Man, I really wish I could watch some YouTube videos right now?” Well, researchers at the University of Buffalo have you covered. They’re working on new wireless modems that go in the water.
Robert McMillan at Wired spoke with Tommaso Melodia, the researcher leading the underwater internet charge. Melodia says that the idea isn’t so weird. “This means that you can take an underwater network and make it accessible through the internet,” he says. That could be everything from monitors and sensors looking for tsunamis and storms to submarines exploring the deep.
Of course, the internet down there isn’t very fast. McMillan explains:
But these networks are very, very slow. In fact, that’s why Melodia and his team had to rewrite TCP/IP. On dry land, we can use high frequency radio waves to transmit our internet data at near-light speeds. They’re fast, high-bandwidth and inaudible. But radio doesn’t do so well underwater. There you need acoustic networking. It’s slow, low bandwidth and audible to both humans and sea creatures.
They’re working on it though, and hope to get a higher speed connection up and running before your underwater house is finished.
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