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  D. A New Technology May Add the 'Eyes' to Smart Dust Sensors

Narrator: This is Science Today. A groundbreaking experiment, which demonstrated that a piece of semiconductor material can slow down light pulses, may one day lead to very high speed network communications. Connie Chang-Hasnain, who led the University of California, Berkeley project, says it may also be used to add ‘the eyes’ to tiny wireless devices known as smart dust sensors.

Chang-Hasnain: All those sensors are supposed to transmit information and what better information than a video, right? So those video information need to be connected and today, there’s no way to connect them and to intelligently process them.

Narrator: But their semiconductor experiment offers hope that such technology is on the horizon.

Chang-Hasnain: With the all-optical buffer available and the slow light device available, we will be able to allow better utilization of this information, so we can do environmental protection monitoring of resources, monitoring earthquake and to the next extent, to control these monitoring devices as well.

Narrator: For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.