Quantum encryption is theoretically a dream for security, as you can’t even inspect the data without altering it. Science may have come to the rescue, though: researchers have developed a quantum encryption key distribution system that promises to be five to 10 times faster than existing methods, or roughly on par with conventional encryption when run in parallel. The trick was to cram more data into each photon.
There’s a lot of effort left before this becomes practical, not the least of which is the size: a transmitter/receiver combo would be about as large as a computer. It’s more realistic than you might think, mind you. Eventually, there may be a time when you could hold a secure voice chat knowing that even the most determined spy couldn’t listen in.
The team discovered that it could encode two bits by tweaking the release time of photons and using high-speed photon detectors to track these changes. Effectively, they’re giving photons properties they couldn’t have before.