A new era of communication has arrived. Some say it is even the next industrial age. Everything is connected; the internet of things is being constructed and the opportunities it will bring are not all clear.
With our experience in fused silica, we work on new, innovative products and processes for optimizing today’s fiber production and turn R&D ideas into production scale products for future fiber ideas. Combine this with the fact that we are the largest manufacturer of synthetic fused silica for telecommunication fibers, and we take pride in saying: we help to connect the world.
New technologies and applications are developing because of the improved ways of communications. Below are some examples of applications that are enabled by fiber based advanced communications infrastructure.
While robotic assistance in surgery is quite common in hospitals today, the doctor usually is in close proximity to the robot and the patient. With the improvements in communications infrastructure, it will be possible for the distance between the surgeon and the patient to increase. It will not be necessary for the doctor to be in the same room, the same city or ultimately not even in the same country.
During an operation it is very important that the time between the robot’s movement and the feedback to the surgeon sees is very small, to allow a timely decision or reaction by the medical expert. The two important characteristics of the communication connection between the two locations are latencyand data capacity. Not only must a high-resolution live video of the operation besent, but also other important data like heart rate, and other vital signs.
The ability to perform remote surgery will allow patients to receive treatment from experts, while local doctors can observe and learn the procedure. Because the experts do not need to travel, they can perform more operations.
For augmented reality, the real-world experience is supplemented by computer-generated information. The most common additions are projections of additional information, or fully synthetic objects into the real view field of a user. Because it manipulates the visual input of the user, there needs to be a visual-computer interface, typically a form of camera projection system or data glasses. Applications for augmented reality can be found in private and professional realms. They include recreational activities (e.g. providing information to tourists while they explore an attraction or gaming), teaching, creative tasks, as well as maintenance tasks.
The general idea is that a computer can provide data from the internet to highlight or modify objects and provide additional information. Imagine you need to repair a machine. You open the covers and through your glasses you will see the cables highlighted that need to be checked to identify the cause of the failure. Possibly these cables will be labeled, and you will receive instructions on what to do next.
Augmented reality not only needs a good camera and projection system but also a good internet connection. Humans get dizzy when they move their eyes or head and the augmented objects move with a delay. Therefore, it is important that the system reacts quickly; latency again is key. Because the computations about where the objects need to be projected, as well as what kind of information to show all is done remotely in a datacenter, high bandwidth connection is also necessary.