Holographic storage rises from the dead

Good post by Robin Harris (thank you) on the return of Holographic Storage

Summary: Holographic storage has incredible potential, but has never made it to market despite$100 million and years of R&D. But now it gets one more chance to make good.

Two years ago InPhase Technologies, who had labored for a decade to bring holographic storage to market bit the dust. But thanks to the patient and deep-pocketed VCs at Signal Lake – who bought InPhase’s remains – the technology will have another chance.

Today at NAB in Las Vegas hVault is resurrecting the technology for one more try.

How does it work?
Holograms use 2 coherent laser beams – a reference beam and an illumination beam – to create an interference pattern that is recorded on photo sensitive media. Shine a laser on the recorded interference pattern and the original image is reconstructed in glorious 3D. As the laser moves around – or you do – you see the image from different perspectives.

Holographic storage has some nifty properties.

  1. A small fragment of a hologram can reconstruct the entire data image. The fragment won’t let you move as far around the image, but for 2D images, like a photograph, it means a scratch isn’t fatal.
  2. Data density is theoretically unlimited. By varying the angle between the reference and illumination beams – or the angle of the media – hundreds of holograms can be stored in the same physical area.
  3. Photographic media has the longest proven lifespan – over a century – of any modern media. Since there’s no physical contact you can read the media millions of times with no degradation.

But with a new medium comes a whole host of difficult and expensive problems, developing every piece of the product including:

  • Holographic media
  • Mass production of the media
  • The read/write algorithms and optics

While keeping the price down.

Read on here

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