Japan’s tech giant Hitachi has invented a way to store data for millions of years using slivers of quartz glass. Data is stored in binary dots on the glass and can be read by an optical microscope. Hitachi arrived at the idea because the constant updates in technology could mean that information might eventually be lost.
“The volume of data being created every day is exploding, but in terms of keeping it for later generations, we haven’t necessarily improved since the days we inscribed things on stones,” Hitachi researcher Kazuyoshi Torii told AFP in an interview. ”The possibility of losing information may actually have increased.”
Torii said, no matter how advanced computers get, they will always be able to read binary code. The quartz glass can currently hold 40 megabytes of data—approximately the same amount as CD. Researchers believe that more data layers could be added.
The glass is said to be able to survive far beyond other current data storage forms. ”We believe data will survive unless this hard glass is broken,” said senior researcher Takao Watanabe. That’s good news.
While this data loss might be particularly troubling for the human races continuing intellectual and technological evolutions, let’s hope that various forms of religious delusion aren’t encoded on this slivers of quartz. The human race needs to evolve and leave the Dark Ages far behind.