Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 11/10/2001Occasionally, a press release drifts past that seems to have something important to say. Take this one from Lenslet Labs, which claims to herald an optically based digital signal processing engine that can work at speeds of thousands of giga operations a second.

Thursday 11/10/2001

Occasionally, a press release drifts past that seems to have something important to say. Take this one from Lenslet Labs, which claims to herald an optically based digital signal processing engine that can work at speeds of thousands of giga operations a second. Like, wow! First of all, optical logic is way down the list of things to expect in Dixons any time soon; it's hard, expensive and doesn't work well yet. Second, direct digital signal processing of terabit optical communications is even further away than that – but if it works, would change the world. That's the sort of thing that's only a photon away from intelligent androids and tractor beams.

So, has Lenslet Labs done the impossible? Alas, no. Once you dig through the excited hype of the press release, it turns out that the company is indeed processing optical signals at tremendous speeds and next to no power – by sticking them through a lens. On that basis, I have a pair of multi-terabit optical signal processors affixed to the front of my face (or 'tightly integrated with forward facing sensory apparatus in a new level of man/machine interface', as Kevin Warwick would doubtlessly phrase it).

You might call them spectacles, but Lenslet would know better.

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