on Monday announced it is working on a holographic storage medium that resembles a typical optical disc and allows it to store the equivalent of 100 DVDs, the NY Times reported
this weekend. Holography, used for the three-dimensional images on some older credit cards for security, can also store binary data in the form of 1s and 0s. The next step involves GE making the technology usable in hardware that can be mass-produced at affordable prices. Holographic storage has the potential to more densely pack data that traditional mediums, including DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The data is encoded in light patterns that are stored in light-sensitive material, with the holograms acting like microscopic mirrors that refract light patterns when a laser shines on them.
Making the technology affordable has not been a focus, until now. InPhase Technologies has plans to introduce a holographic storage system
, though at $18,000 for the machines and expensive discs, it is relegated to specialized business and industry markets. GE has been developing a new, less complex hologram technology called microholographic storage since 2003.