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IP over Ultrasound

One of my readers read the Ars Technica article on ads communicating with other devices via ultrasound and wondered whether something similar could be done for IP.

Not surprisingly, someone already did it. A quick google search found this tutorial which explains how to run IP stack over Gnuradio (at speeds that were last experienced with dial-up modems 30 years ago).


  1. This idea may have a market niche (chemical plants or something like that where electricity is avoided in specific areas).

    Not sure why I recalled:
    IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service e.g. pigeons

  2. Or the next step in planted rootkits... Leaked NSA data showed something similar into out of band access on some HP models (even though it wasn't ultrasound but restricted wavelength on radio).

  3. Acoustic networks have been used for quite a few years for underwater communications, mainly for military operations. Electromagnetic waves do not propagate well because of water absorption, but mechanic waves do. There was a nice pilot from the US army which deployed multiple devices in the late 90's called the Seaweb network (it was documented, for example, here), and there is much more work from recent years. Such networks employed a meshed topology, what would make IP relatively complex to use (but in any case, I guess that the original question messes OSI layers a bit, doesn't it?).

  4. I have often wondered about using hydraulic hoses as an alternate form of networking with transducers for systems. I wonder if a hydraulic CSMA/CD would work.

  5. This kind of stuff was envisioned in 1996.
    The ATM in title means "Acoustical Transmission Media, i.e. sound waves" :D


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