The birth of the next Edward Snowden may wait for eternity as a German hacker has now developed a device that uses smoke - instead of any text, video or photograph - to facilitate secret communication.
The new SMS or Smoke Messaging Service (SMS), developed by German inventor Dennis de Bel, uses a hardware add-on (or cover) for the iPhone.
First showcased at a recent exhibition in Berlin recently, the SMS prototype could lead to the resurgence in the ancient art of using smoke for communication.
"Smoke Messaging Service takes your device to the next level," he said.
"This iPhone hardware offers you safe, long distance and visual communication for free," De Bel was quoted as saying in a Daily Mail report.
How does it work?
At the push of a button, lamp-oil is heated and vaporised, sending a little cloud of smoke up in the air right in front of the phone's camera.
"This cloud could potentially be picked up by the camera and translated in real-time," De Bel added.
"But, that is for later implementation," he said. For now, to make use of this novel SMS, the participants must be aware of the code of signals.
"For example, three puffs is 'hello', 5 puffs is 'hello, I'm coming home later'," he explained.
Smoke is considered one of the earliest technologies for long distance visual communication.
Smoke signal is used even today by the College of Cardinals to reveal the selection of a new Pope.