Gallery: Hitachi Invents Waterproof Glass ‘Disk’ That Can Store Data Fo...


A simple square of glass may hold the key to the vexing problem of storing data indefinitely. Developed by Hitachi, the technology prints a binary series of dots upon a sliver of quartz glass which can then be easily read with a common microscope. It sounds simple enough, and that is exactly the point – the data can be easily accessed no matter what the future technologies of the digital age bring. Even better, the data is safe from fire, chemicals, and water – almost anything, except perhaps a hammer.

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  1. KLM January 2, 2015 at 3:20 am

    To me it is difficult to believe that the glass is eternal carrier of information. From physics we know that the glass is a liquid. Of course the speed of spreading hundreds and thousands of years, so it is not visible for a short period. Unfortunately primitive drawings on rocks have much lasting than anything invented until …

  2. stickershock July 19, 2014 at 7:52 am

    It’s Braille on glass !

  3. Jay Viradiya February 12, 2014 at 2:07 am

    hey its an extra-ordinary concept with great features invented by japan.Don’t need to have a portable hard drive or pen-drive or CD. now we can store our data and keep our data till the next decades.this chip is having great doesn’t break and no worry about data lost. I think the new era begins with this technology.

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  4. Eletruk September 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    One of the things that needs to be included in “Forever” data is an instruction set. The Voyager laser disc has a set of pictograms included on it that describes how to read it. I think there should be an international standard set up so that every one of these data storage devices include the instructions to read it. Not just what the dots are, but more important, number systems used (like base 10 or binary or hexadecimal). Basic mathematics used, alphanumeric encoding (ASCII, or UNICODE), how are pictures stored (JPEG algorithms, etc). If compression is used, that needs the math included.
    I guess I am thinking of the issues we had in translating old papyrus that we had no clue until the Rosetta Stone was found. And that was only a thousand years or so that we had lost the ability to read the contents. If we truly want an archive that will survive eons, then every single one of these storage units needs to include this stuff. You never know which will survive, and we should take steps to insure that future generations can retrieve the contents, otherwise having truly permanent storage is pointless beyond 50 years or so.

  5. macmarty15221 September 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    They physical media is only half the battle. If someone gave you one of these glass squares with a VisiCalc spreadsheet (circa 1979) on it, would you be able to open and display it?

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