Signal degradation is a big problem for our data driven life. Anything that has a cable attached to it to either watch television or surf the net quality degrades the longer the signal has to travel. Current technology is to blame. But research into silicon photonics can change everything.
Most of the energy used in computers sending info is used for transmission, not logic. Thus, server farms spend an enormous of amount of un-sustainable energy to power communication between the data centers servers and the outside world.
If silicon photonics could replace the hardwiring of traditional servers, PCs, mobile devices etc., then the bottlenecks would be replaced by fast flowing energy saving photons. One day you may read about the billions of optical transistors on a chip. If that happens everything you do and enjoy now will be more efficient, richer and enjoyable.