Fibre optics allow for the communication of data at the speed of light. But the amount of data that can be sent along any optic fibre is limited by how much information you can encode into the light wave travelling through it. Currently, optic fibre technology uses several different properties of light to encode information, including brightness, colour, polarisation and direction of propagation.
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a new imaging device that consists of a loose bundle of optical fibers, with no need for lenses or a protective housing. The fibers are connected to an array of photosensors at one end; the other ends can be left to wave free, so they could pass individually through micrometer-scale gaps in a porous membrane, to image whatever is on the other side.