It's obviously not the same, but in some ways it sounds similar to Intel's Lightpeak. I guess it is the next logical step once you get to that point.
Actually - you're correct - they're very similar technologies. Both research groups are seeking out ways to merge cmos with optical components traditionally done in non-silicon devices. From what I can tell, Intel is further along as they have actually demonstrated their technology in a discrete component. IBM, once you get past the buzz words in their press release, really is still doing basic research; they've demonstrated individual components but have not accomplished any major integration feats. While it seems that IBM's technology is considerably smaller than Intel's, they have not shown how they plan to actually generate the light used for their components.
At the end of a course, (call me greedy), _I_ want to know how to do everything in the course, not merely have a warm fuzzy WEE-WOW feeling that something exciting just went by that I can't quite reproduce.
Holy flamebait; you are talking about America's most famous physics teacher. You were expecting a "how to" book from a nobel laureate?
My wife is looking forward to when the local strip club starts using this technology. Privacy be damned.
...but it would be a great application for a lilypad arduino. (http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardLilyPad)