Don’t you sometimes wish your internet speed was a bit faster when browsing the web, streaming online content, playing multiplayer games, or participating in a video conference? Most people do, including scientists at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Recently, NICT set a new internet speed record when a group of its scientists successfully transferred data at 319 Terabits per second (Tbps) over a simulated 3,001-kilometer distance.
To put the record-breaking data transfer speed into perspective, the average fixed broadband download speed worldwide currently sits around 100 Mbps, which is around 3 million (yes, million) times slower. The new record is a significant achievement even as far as internet speed records go because it’s almost double the previous world record (179 Tbps), which was achieved by British and Japanese researchers in August 2020.
Transmitting data at such an unimaginably fast speed required plenty of innovation and cutting-edge technologies. Whereas typical fiber-optic cables have just one core designed for light transmission, the cable used by the team of Japanese researchers who set the new record had four cores. The transmitted data was fired using a 552-channel comb laser at multiple wavelengths and given a boost by rare earth amplifiers.
Since the entire test took place under laboratory conditions, you shouldn’t expect your local internet service provider to follow suit in the near future by implementing similar technologies due to their cost. The most likely real-world applications of the cutting-edge system involve high-speed backbone communication.
“It is hoped that such fibers can enable practical high data-rate transmission in the near-term, contributing to the realization of the backbone communications system necessary for the spread of new communication services beyond 5G,” write NICT researchers.
Considering how much we’ve progressed since Caltech set its 186 Gbps internet speed record in 2011, we can’t help but imagine where we’ll be in another decade or two.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.