Get ready for windows that never break with translucent concrete. A German design firm has created load-bearing concrete containing optical fibers, allowing light and color to pass through to the other side (the shadowy hand is what you can see through the concrete in direct light). The result is that you can live inside a sunlit dome and still be protected when the space invaders come and drop those dangerous light thingies on your head. Click through for more transluscent concrete, and some transparent aluminum too.

Ha! It's Scotty's formula for transparent aluminum from Star Trek. Amazing what those Mac Classics could do.

What's particularly impressive about translucent concrete is that the optical fibers only make up 4% of the mixture, which is what allows (they claim) the concrete to retain the same "technical data" as normal concrete. In layman's terms we're assuming this means "Pretty light shine through, house not fall down." Based on the photos of the concrete in action, and if this load-bearing claim holds up (get it?) then we imagine that this would get put to immediate use in the construction of formerly boring government buildings everywhere.

In fact, now is a good time to think about rebuilding the io9 bunker entirely out of this stuff. We can't wait on Star Trek tech anymore, unless someone from the future traveled back in time and told someone at this firm how to make this stuff. Then the whole time-travel paradox of Star Trek IV will open up like a can of worms and consume us as we sit in our see-through outbuildings.