Sony and Panasonic have announced their plans to create super powerful optical discs that will be able to store 300 GB of information! Can you hear the minds from 2003 being completely blown?
The companies hope to release the super discs in 2015. Compare this next generation of optical storage technology to today's Blu-ray discs, which can hold 25 GB on a single-layer disc, or 50 GB for dual-layer.
So, why an emphasis on optical discs now?
The investment in optical storage may appear to be a somewhat odd choice in that we've already seen 1 terabyte flash drives--not to mention near limitless cloud-based storage options.
While future applications might include creating physical versions of 4K films, the near-term of this technology will not be for the consumer market, rather they will be geared towards corporate and government archavists charged with curating libraries worth of data.
Optical discs, for their part, stand up well against environmental factors such as water and dust in addition to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Furthermore, as governments and industry begin to experiment with unconnected retro-technologies in the name of security, they may come to shy away from more efficient--and far more vulnerable--cloud storage options.