Scottish scientists are working on a revolution in communications using simple beams of light.
The system has the potential to allow vast amounts of information to be flashed across town and city rooftops in total security and without the need to dig up roads for laying cables.
A sophisticated array of ‘torches’ mounted on the tops of high buildings will send and receive data at around eight times the capacity of existing fibre optic cables.
The network could have a range of uses, from allowing the headquarters of a company to communicate easily and securely with its branch offices, to beaming the latest in entertainment to homes.
Scientists at the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde have already set up a prototype system in the laboratory and will shortly begin tests of the system between buildings.