Certainly, tough and optically brilliant glass is essential to the touch interface that makes these collaborative work surfaces beautiful and fun to use. But the work surfaces must also be able to draw in rich, high-resolution data from a wide variety of sources.
So once again, it’s glass – in the form of hair-thin optical fiber – that enables the experience.
Let’s take a look at the role this highly engineered glass plays in bringing the world to your tabletop.
Even at its inception in 1970, mass-produced glass fiber – stripped of even the microscopic impurities that might interfere with light signals – could transmit data far more quickly than its copper wire counterpart. Telecommunications companies found it ideal for their long-haul networks that soon became the backbone of the Internet.
Today, more than 2 billion kilometers of optical fiber make up the world’s telecommunications network. Even with wireless connections that can send signals to your device from a connected tower, those signals can only travel up to a few miles – so the vast majority of today’s voice, video, and data still zooms through optical fiber.
And innovations in glass science are yielding new generations of high-speed, high-capacity fiber to meet the demands of today’s network applications.
Optical fiber is now tougher than ever. It can be bent around tight corners and stapled onto wall studs. It’s stronger than both high-tensile steel and titanium.
Capacity is also remarkable. A single long-haul strand can support up to 2 million simultaneous high-definition video streams.
More great news for teammates at work, home, and school: New fiber innovations are enabling faster-than-ever optical connections between computers, operating systems, gaming consoles, tablets, and more.
When collaborators are truly connected, they’re connected with glass.