Snail Mail Gets Literal

Snails transport e-mail messages

RFID tags let snails transport e-mail messages.

Give a mollusk a radio-frequency ID tag, and suddenly--well, slowly--snail mail isn't just wordplay. Artists at the U.K.'s Bournemouth University are upending the term for mail sent via old-school postal services. "We're all living in a speed-obsessed world," says Vicky Isley, which is why she co-created Users submit e-mails that get relayed to a tank with some snails and two electronic readers. A gastropod with a chip on its shell wirelessly picks up a message from one reader and eventually moseys 50 cm to the other, at which point the missive dashes over the Internet. Delivery, if completed,...

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