InPhase technologies is ready to bring its holographic disc reader/writer and storage media to market next month with the first devices. It had to develop almost every aspect of the technology and the first devices will be very expensive, at first.
According to Zdnet, InPhase had to develop,
"The optical media.
The manufacturing process for fabricating thick, optically-flat and high-dynamic range media.
The mathematics and circuitry needed to use digital camera CMOS chips for high-speed and high-accuracy image reconstruction.
A new method – polytopic multiplexing – for a 10x density increase.
Holographic mastering techniques for commercial reproduction."
There are also some properties of holographic storage that make it more resilient than media used today,
"A small fragment of a hologram can reconstruct the entire data image. The fragment won’t let you move as far around the image, but for 2D images, like a photograph, it means a scratch isn’t fatal.
Data density is theoretically unlimited. By varying the angle between the reference and illumination beams – or the angle of the media – hundreds of holograms can be stored in the same physical area."
A single 5.25-inch holographic data cartridge can hold 300GB of data which will hold 26 hours of "low bit-rate" video or 26 minutes of uncompressed HD video at 1.6Gbps. It’s doubtful that many of us will be buying the devices at $18,000 a pop and $300 per cartridge but in 15 years it may just be affordable and replacing Blu-Ray as the preferred physical format, prepare for a short victory, Sony.