The Krypton Chip – your data, forever?

by Crystal on September 25, 2012

It’s not just Star Trek that paved the way for new technology.  Remember Superman?
And the message from his father that was ‘read’ by plugging in a quartz crystal?  Guess what…

Hitachi have made it real.  Quartz with layers of dots, meaning that aside from shattering (which it’s resistant to), your data could survive thousands of years, come through earthquakes and tsunamis, and, so long as your device can read binary code, be pretty much future-proof.  Not like cassette tapes/LP albums/CDs/DVDs/MP3s/Blu-Rays, which have meant your music collection would last, at most, a decade and a bit before you’d have to get it all in a new format.

You can read more here

What does this mean?  Well, aside from the obvious possibilities for data storage – and if they can get a whole CD’s worth of data onto that glass square with the prototype, imagine what capacities they’ll be looking at in another year or two – there are loads of other potential applications that a quick brainstorm brings to light.  For example, with the work they’re doing on HUDs (Heads Up Displays) these days, think of the possibility of sim cards for your PC glasses – you could slide in a glass chip with a collection of your favourite movies.  Or develop the visual equivalent of ‘sleep-learning’ (and finally make subliminal technology useful).  Your glasses could display flash cards, and, with headphones attached, play the accompanying words, to help you learn a language while you’re doing other things.   Or data storage could merge with art, and embed data into all kinds of fantastic, wonderful and decorative works that you can proudly display on your sideboard, as they conveniently also preserve all your photographic memories or scans of important documents.

PS If I recall correctly, Superman wasn’t the only film that had quartz or glass data storage.  Star Trek did too, and I think 2001. I know lots of books that had it, but can you remember what other movies featured it?

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