When I was in college, I wrote a paper on the state of storage technologies, and, at the time, holographic storage was supposed to be the Next Big Thing. The game in storage is Gigabytes per cubic inch, and at the time, researchers thought that holographic cubes would be cramming more GBs into a cubic inch than a hard drive “any day now”. Now, more than a decade later, InPhase may actually start shipping holographic drives:
InPhase will be the first company to deliver a holographic product for professional archive applications in late 2006. The media for this product will be offered through its strategic partner Hitachi Maxell Ltd. The initial InPhase Tapestry™ holographic recording device will record 300 gigabytes (GB) of data onto a 130 mm disc with a transfer rate of 20 megabytes per second (MB/s). This is compatible with high-definition television transmission rates, and high-end enterprise computer applications.
So it sounds like they’ve gone away from the notion of a cube, and have basically adapted this to work like a DVD, only with a lot more layers. It will be interesting to see if this winds up taking off.