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Fiber Optic

Electronics

"Air waveguides" used to send optical data through the air

Efficient as fiber optic cables are at transmitting data in the form of light pulses, they do need to be physically supported, and they can only handle a finite amount of power. Still, what's the alternative ... just send those focused pulses through the air? Actually, that's just what scientists at the University of Maryland have already demonstrated in their lab. Read More

Science

Stretchable optical circuits could find use in robot skin and more

If flexible electronic devices are ever going to become practical for real-world use, the circuitry incorporated into them will have to be tough and resilient. We're already seeing progress in that direction, including electrical wires that can still carry a current while being stretched. However, what if the application calls for the use of fiber optics? Well, scientists from Belgium may have that covered, too. They've created optical circuits utilizing what they believe are the world's first stretchable optical interconnections. Read More

Music

Iconic Sound looks to light for signal clarity

Before an adoring public can begin to appreciate your axe-wielding wizardry, the signal from your electric guitar will probably need to make its way down some copper cable to get to the Marshall stack. On the way, the tone of the guitar can get flavored, capacitance can cause frequency loss, and if you're really unlucky, the to and fro of nearby taxi conversations can add some unexpected color to a performance. The Light Lead from London's Iconic Sound promises the kind of signal clarity that many players might very well kill for. Claimed to be the world's first optical analog jack-to-jack guitar cable, it's touted to have zero capacitance, zero loading, electrical safety and a virtually infinite lifespan.Read More

Telecommunications

Pointy pulses improve optical fiber throughput by a factor of 10

As the volume of data carried around the world via optical fibers continues to increase, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have found a way to increase data throughput capacity by ten times. Because it is based on changing the shape of light pulses to reduce the space between, the breakthrough would work on existing optical fiber infrastructure.Read More

Science

Fiber optics on the right wavelength to prevent rail accidents

A team from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is to release details of a seven-year program to monitor a 36-km stretch of high-speed rail line using a series of special fiber optic sensors . According to a press release put out by the Optical Society, the system has detected "anomalous vibrations" on 30 occasions, allowing the early rectification of emerging problems that could conceivably have gone on to cause rail accidents.Read More

Good Thinking

Mood Map exhibit turns tweets into art

Mood Map is an art exhibit created by New York-based E/B Office that expresses the mood of the South Korean populace by analyzing their tweets. The data is visualized through six fiber optic lights located on the roof of the Data Curation section of the Museum of Art, at Seoul National University. Read More

Telecommunications

Closing the gap to improve the capacity of existing fiber optic networks

A team of researchers working through Australia’s Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) has developed data encoding technology that increases the efficiency of existing fiber optic cable networks. The researchers claim their invention increases the data capacity of optical networks to the point that all of the world’s internet traffic could be transmitted via a single fiber.Read More

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