Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Superman" Crystals

What if everything we ever knew or will know in the future can never again be forgotten? That is exactly the type of technology that researchers at the University of Southhampton have developed as the Superman movies we all know and love come to life. Similar to the crystals in the movies, this technology takes the form of small glass disks that have information encrypted in them using a unique laser technology.

According to the article by CNN, each individual disk can hold up to 360 terabytes of data and can last billions of years. In theory this is an incredible advancement. If you think of all the different fields this technology can help the list is endless. In the business world for example, companies can store all their information on these chips and don't have to worry about their computers or other technology's failing. As technology is developing so quickly today, there is always a rush to get the next best product out on the market. Therefore, this leaves room for glitches. This technology is seemingly indestructible seeing as they are said to last billions of years. They are the ultimate external hard drive, or are they?

Another source, Science Daily, quotes one of the researchers by saying, "It is thrilling to think that we have created the technology to preserve documents and information and store it in space for future generations." Personally, some concerns arise from this. If all the information known to mankind is stored on these chips then what happens if the chips become destroyed? Everything we ever know could be gone leaving future generations having to start from scratch and re-discover everything our society has worked so hard to find. Personally, I do not believe that we should be relying on these chips to the extent that they are said to be used for. Although researchers are seeking industry partners to further develop the product, I believe an immense more amount of research needs to be done before these chips are put into effect.

Another interesting fact to note is that neither article mentions anything of how these chips are going to be distributed. Are they solely for government use or will they be distributed to businesses and consumers? If they are distributed to civilians, how much will they cost to produce and or how much will they be sold for. Something this advanced must sell for an extremely high price. All these things must be considered in order to develop an accurate argument as to whether or not these chips are up to par.


1 comment:

  1. I researched a good bit into these crystals when i first heard about them, and I believe that they are profound well beyond their large storage capacity or longevity. What i found to be most exciting about these crystals was that they were not made to simply last forever under ideal conditions, but can survive in extreme conditions as well. This is important because it ensures that data will be salvageable in a great deal of scenario, including fires or flooding. This means that if a location is destroyed by some type of disaster, a team will be able to recover the crystals and continuing working where the data left off, rather than the necessity of a fresh start to the project. For this reason, I believe these crystals will be very important in businesses, universities, hospitals, and government facilities, where data is highly sensitive and important. Should, however, the technology be released publicly at an affordable price, it will offer consumer the digital equivalent of a fire safe, allowing them to store important data in a secure drive that will remain intact even in the most extreme of circumstances. These superman crystals are certainly important for their large data storage options and their limitless lifespan, but they are ever more profound due to their survival capabilities.


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