Oz Optics' Smart Patchcord is a low-cost, ultracompact inline optical power meter designed for remote monitoring of optical networks. Using proprietary technology, the Smart Patchcord taps a small portion of the light from the core of a fiber. This is done without breaking or bending the fiber, which eliminates problems associated with back-reflection while keeping insertion losses to typically less than 0.2 dB. The tapped light is measured, with the resulting value transmitted via RS232, USB or even wirelessly to a host computer, PDA or "smart" cell phone. This is ideal for applications where signal strength needs to be continuously monitored, and where any deviation from a nominal value needs to be immediately reported. Since Smart Patchcords can be an integral part of an optical path, interruptions to the optical signal are avoided when measuring the power level. Either singlemode or polarization-maintaining fiber can be used. The optical taps can be made unidirectional or bidirectional, allowing power in one direction to be measured independently of any signal traveling in the opposite direction. Optical filters can be incorporated into the design to allow monitoring of specific wavelengths or polarization. Patch panels with multiple Smart Patchcords are also offered.