Use Your iPhone To Send Smoke Signals Even When There's No Service

If you're tired of iMessage failures, spotty coverage from your carrier, and sickeningly cute emoticons, here's a clever iPhone case that will revolutionize how you chat with your friends—using technology that's been around for hundreds of years.

Dennis Be Bel's S.M.S.—or smoke messaging service—case heats and vaporizes lamp oil every time a simple button is pressed, sending a small puff of smoke wafting up into the air. And if conditions are right, the person you're trying to message will see that puff, or several, and then respond in a similar fashion.

It's completely secure because it's up to you and the person you're communicating with to come up with a way to translate the smoke puffs into messages. You can simply go with old school morse code—which admittedly is less secure—or create an entire new language. from scratch. And besides the cost of lamp oil, and the case itself, it's completely free to use in perpetuity—without a contract.

The puffs of smoke are also seen by the iPhone's camera, and one day might be able to recorded and translated into actual iMessage conversations. But that's a feature for the future, and for if and when it ever becomes a product you can actually buy. For now, the S.M.S. is strictly an old old old school approach that our ancient ancestors would sure be proud of. [Dennis De Bel via Motherboard]