Researchers have tested an “underwater wi-fi” network in a lake in an attempt to make a “deep-sea internet”. The team, from the University of Buffalo, New York, said the technology could help detect tsunamis, offering more reliable warning systems. They aim to create an agreed standard for underwater communications, to make interaction and data-sharing easier.
Unlike normal wi-fi, which uses radio waves, the submerged network technology utilises sound waves. Radio waves are able to penetrate water, but with severely limited range and stability. Sound waves provide a better option - as demonstrated by many aquatic species such as whales and dolphins.
"A submerged wireless network will give us an unprecedented ability to collect and analyse data from our oceans in real time," said Tommaso Melodia, lead researcher.
"Making this information available to anyone with a smartphone or computer, especially when a tsunami or other type of disaster occurs, could help save lives."