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 friendsā€”using technology that's been around for hundreds of years.

Dennis Be Bel's S.M.S.ā€”or smoke messaging serviceā€”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 codeā€”which admittedly is less secureā€”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 perpetuityā€”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]