Alternatively, the boundary of the channel containing the wire might be modified in some way that could detect and respond to the signal. Some of these ambitions have been realized, such as fenceposts for many wires; others still await implementation.
For example, if the wire could be made to turn corners and allow a loop be formed, oscillators of different periods would follow. This inspired Dean Hickerson to create his drifter searcher. The program has failed to find a valid 2c/3 signal turn, but has found many of the known billiard table oscillators.
In February 2003, Jason Summers completed a lightspeed telegraph that can send information at lightspeed along a chain of beehives. In 2010 Adam P. Goucher constructed a version of the telegraph using only stable circuitry, such that a single incoming glider produces a lightspeed signal, which is detected at the other end of the telegraph and converted back into a glider.
2c/3 and 5c/9 wires
Diagonal wires have been made that propagate signals at the speeds of 2c/3 or 5c/9 diagonally. The prospect of making a 2c/3 signal turn a corner is a lot closer to reality than turning a lightspeed orthogonal signal, especially because Dave Greene and Noam Elkies have already engineered a stable 2c/3 signal transceiver.
5c/9 signals are easier to produce, but much harder to detect. Only two distinct fizzles have been found for the 5c/9 signal, whereas hundreds exist for the 2c/3 signal.
- Lightspeed wire at the Life Lexicon