World's Fastest Fiber Line Can Support an Internet's Worth of Data

Currently, the fastest commercially available fiber optic line tops out at 100 Gbps. That's super fast, sure, but isn't nearly a wide enough pipeline for our increasingly interconnected systems. That's why this new, multi-modal, fiber line is so exciting—it can pack 2,550 times as much data into the same glass strand. » 10/27/14 2:01pm 10/27/14 2:01pm

TRONify Anything With This New Colorful Glowing Thread

Forget about all the company's work on its incredibly durable Gorilla Glass. No one's going to care if their smartphone's screen gets scratched when Corning's other major innovation hits consumers. Because when their device is covered in Fibrance, a fiber-optic thread-like material that glows in any color and looks… » 9/16/14 3:36pm 9/16/14 3:36pm

Confused Sharks Keep Trying to Eat Google's Undersea Data Cables

Laying fiber optic cables down on the ocean floor is a massive undertaking in its own right. But now, Google actually has to go back and reinforce some of its thousands of miles of undersea cable—because hungry sharks keep mistaking the world's data lines for lunch. » 8/14/14 12:01pm 8/14/14 12:01pm

Making Faster Optical "Cables" Using Nothing But Lasers and Air

Pulses of light are the absolute fastest way to transfer data (because nothing's faster than light), but old school fiber optic cables can only go so many places. Scientists have a new idea: use high-powered lasers to make a column of low-density air that can carry a light signal just as well as a normal cable. Yes,… » 7/22/14 11:23am 7/22/14 11:23am

The Promising (But Problematic) Future of Ultra-Fast Internet

While you weren't looking, the internet got super fast. I'm not talking Google Fiber fast. I'm talking Star Trek fast. Today, it's not just possible to download a movie in seconds. New technology makes it easy to download dozens of movies in fractions of a second. Fast is almost too slow a word to describe such speed. » 2/28/14 10:00am 2/28/14 10:00am

This Technicolor Dream Cloth Is Woven From Optical Fibers

We live in a magical age filled with robot maids, flying cars (sorta), and mechanical guard dogs. And now, finally, that list includes color-changing home furnishings, like this fiber optic throw pillow. This is the 21st Century for crying out loud. » 11/11/13 6:36pm 11/11/13 6:36pm

Corkscrew Lasers Are About to Revolutionize Internet Bandwidth

We transmit almost a thousand petabytes of data over the ‘nets every month—an amount that’s growing exponentially, thanks to your narcissistic obsession with Snapchat. In fact, we’re quickly closing in on the limits of how much data optical fiber can transmit. Luckily, scientists at Boston University recently… » 6/28/13 6:26pm 6/28/13 6:26pm

Gigabit Internet In Vermont Is Cheaper Than Google Fiber

There have been vague rumblings about ISPs stepping up to match Google Fiber's gigabit internet offering, especially since Google announced that the next Fiber city would be Austin. Now 600 residents of Vermont are actually getting those speeds at half the Fiber price. What gives? » 4/28/13 3:00pm 4/28/13 3:00pm

Hollow Fiber Optic Tunnels Can Blast Data at Practically the Speed of…

We all want faster downloads, and developments like graphene antennas promise a speedy future. There is an upper limit—the speed of light—but that should be fast enough, right? Well a new kind of hollow fiber optic cable promises to get us 99.7 percent of the way there. » 3/25/13 1:49pm 3/25/13 1:49pm

The World's Biggest Fiber LAN Lives at a Nuclear Weapons Research Lab

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation's premiere nuclear weapons research facility, and for more than 60 years, its researchers have poked and prodded the interiors of atoms to suss out their secrets—a task that has produced mountains of data that the facility's copper network struggles to contain. But now, even… » 3/01/13 11:30am 3/01/13 11:30am

Lady Gaga's Glowing, Fiber-Optic Disney Princess Wig

Lady Gaga's latest costume is a very cool wig made out of real human hair and "the finest fiber optics in existence." She and her wig maker drew their inspiration for these glowing blonde locks from the idea of a "Disney Princess going to a rave." Of course. » 9/14/12 2:00am 9/14/12 2:00am

Will the Buff, Shirtless Crossing Guards of the Future Wear High-Tech…

The visionary fashion designers at LumiGram have done it again. Their new safety vests are a modern spin on the gear crossing guards wear as they protect street-crossing children on the way to school. The battery-powered fabrics are made of super-thin optical fibers woven in with other synthetics. The fibers are… » 4/02/12 6:40pm 4/02/12 6:40pm

Ever Wonder How Cable TV Travels from Space to Your House?

You know that cable channels make content and beam it to a satellite, but what happens then? This video is a quick look behind the curtain with one of Time Warner's chief engineers. Who knew porn had to go through all that? [TWCable Untangled] » 12/12/11 10:00pm 12/12/11 10:00pm

Underground Fires and Fiber-Optic Cables Don't Mix

Earlier this month an underground fire knocked out cable for a big chunk of the East Village in NYC. Remember that whole #fixcable thing from this summer? Well this is what it looks like when they literally fix cable. » 10/19/11 1:55pm 10/19/11 1:55pm

Squirrels Continue to Be Awful By Wrecking People's Internet

Level 3 Communications, a major ISP, has a serious beef with squirrels. It turns out the little rodents have a penchant for chewing through their fiber optic lines. They actually account for 17% of the damages to their 84,000 mile network this year. » 8/08/11 7:20pm 8/08/11 7:20pm

Fiber Optic Bandaids Show Just How Gross Your Wound Is

For people with serious cuts—think surgery patients—making sure that gash is clean is tricky and critical. Chronic wounds can spiral out of control if infections aren't caught early. So how about a bandage that monitors your skin? » 5/23/11 3:40pm 5/23/11 3:40pm

MIT Scientist Controls Your Brain With Fiber Optics

MIT scientist Ed Boyden invented a way to implant optical fibers into your brain and activate them on command using light. As neurons are turned on and off, the researchers can see what the circuits do. » 5/16/11 10:00pm 5/16/11 10:00pm

Quantum Trickery Could Lead to Stealth Radar

Stealthy radar systems and the ability to transmit large amounts of data over long distances are a step closer thanks to a technique that could improve the efficiency of modern optics by a factor of 1000. » 3/31/11 5:45pm 3/31/11 5:45pm

Apple to Introduce New High-speed Connection with Next Macbooks,…

CNET is reporting that Apple will introduce a new high-speed connection technology with either their upcoming MacBook Pro or another product altogether. Supposedly, the technology is actually Intel's Light Peak technology, which is expected to replace the various cables that connect multiple devices (your display, usb… » 2/20/11 10:00am 2/20/11 10:00am

Self-Healing Polymer Uses Light to Rebuild Itself

A new form of "shape memory polymers" have the ability to return to their previous form once damaged, thanks to embedded fiber optics that let them warm themselves back to health with light. » 12/10/10 10:00am 12/10/10 10:00am