Darpa Wants Talking "Replicator"
Imagine if the Enterprise's on-board replicator made walkie-talkies, instead of cups of tea. That's the latest way-out idea from Darpa, the Pentagon's blue-sky research arm. Sending and receiving messages covertly and quietly in a battle zone can be tough. Darpa's answer: outfit troops with a cell phone-sized "replicator[s]" to "generate disposable… transmitters" when they want to communicate.
In Darpa's eyes, "the disposable transmitter" would be about the size and weight of "a sheet of paper… possibly with an adhesive backing for deployment on all surfaces." Messages -- up to 60 alphanumeric characters is length -- could be printed on to the page by translating 'em into a series of relatively-stable chemical compounds, and then arranged those compounds into a Morse Code-like string.