Experiencing Fiber-Optics

When trying to understand the digital world, it is inevitable that the concept of the transmission of information becomes a foundation to explain the connected world we live in. Yet, not many people understand how data is actually sent from one digital device to another.

Experiencing Fiber-Optics is an interactive display that conveys the concept of data transmission through a fiber-optic cable. The interaction starts with three distinct blocks, representing different types of data, which are inserted into the input device to activate a single transmission of bits. The data travels through a three dimensional representation of the inside of a fiber-optic cable until it reaches the output device and is displayed as a 2D light square.

Transporting three data “shapes” at once represents the concept of being able to transfer large amounts of different types of information, while the three dimensional data “zeppelin” (designed to illustrate the effect of looking at a fiber-optic cable under a microscope) represents the concept of data traveling as pulses of light bouncing through the cable.

The team worked to fuse a core interaction concept with an engaging visual aesthetic as we felt that the classic educational representation of a fiber-optic cable felt static and uninspiring. We hope that this project not only helps to explain fiber-optics but also does so in a visual, tangible way.