I’ve always loved holograms whether it was on a baseball card or some trinket you find at the airport gift shop. They’ve always appealed to me. The episodes of Star Trek with the holodeck were some of my favorites. With the recent holographic appearance of Tupac at Coachella 2012, we may be getting closer to making my dream a reality. So always digging deeper into the things that tickle my ivory, I started reading more about the concept of holographic storage.
Now before you start thinking the future is now and dust off your petitions for jet packs, understand that this tech is still a few years off and to many storage enthusiasts almost considered vaporware. But hey, even Duke Nukem Forever released eventually.
So what is holographic storage? Traditional magnetic or optical storage is a method that relies on individual bits being recorded as changes on the medium. Holographic storage breaks this limitation by recording data throughout the entire medium and instead of recording in a linear fashion like current storage, instead reads and records millions of bits in a parallel fashion in turn increasing data transfer rates.
Ok, Professor Long, I get it. But where does the “hologram” part come in? Holographic storage is able to store info using 3D “images” that represent data — not that you’ll be able to “look at” your data and see it as an image. Naturally the data is still digital bits, but they’re stored in 3D patterns. Through this process, data lasts much longer (like 50 years longer) than current data archiving. Though I do think I have cassettes from my parents that may be close to being that old.
But we’re still a bit off from this actually becoming a reality…or are we? According to this press release, hVault has a holographic storage solution in the works that should be available this spring. I’ll be watching to see how this develops and if they can pull it off, I’ll do my best Duke Nukem impression and say, “Hail to the King, baby!”