Scientists use tungsten and QR codes to rethink data storage for the long term

4 Comments

Most hard drives store data using magnetic properties, but unfortunately those are only good for about 10 years. This might be great for your status updates, but if you’re storing photos or government documents, your best bet for a long-term future might be archival paper (or stone and a chisel). But MIT Tech Review reports that scientists have figured a way to etch data onto sheets of tungsten and silicon nitride in the form of QR codes to store data for the theoretical long term — like a million years. Whether or not we’ll have software to decode it then is another problem altogether.

4 Comments

Paul Comeau

so…. full circle back to etching on clay tablets? I do find it a cool concept, but also kinda funny in the mix of high & low tech.

Madlyb

Precisely my thought and why QR?…because it currently cool? There are better symbologies which provide higher density, better error correction and stronger security.

No matter, I do like the emphasis on durability as I think we have become too flippant about the storage of information on hard drives and flash and there are going to be a lot of very surprised digital camera folks in about 15 years when they pull that shoebox out of the closet.

soprana mente

I’M AGREE WITH YOU AND CAN YOU INDICATE ME “….. symbologies which provide higher density, better error correction and stronger security.”
FRIENDLY

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