Data storage has been an integral part of our daily lives, which also includes data from computation. Before the advent of digital storage devices, humankind used analog storage devices as the only option then. But when the various digital storage devices came on the scene, there was a paradigm shift. Another paradigm shift is about to be heralded, and this is the Holographic Data Storage.
Holographic data storage is a kind of data storage technology that makes use of 3-Dimensional holographic images (holograms) that allow plenty of data to be stored in a very tiny space. In a layman's term; it is just like storing data in sequences of beams.
This technology will potentially sideline the “traditional” optical data storage (which sidelined the magnetic data storage). This is because; in contrast to optical storage and magnetic storage devices that record data one-bit-per-time linearly, holographic storage has the ability of recording millions of data in parallel.
Recording of data in holographic storage
From the word "hologram", you will infer the use of beam. This storage uses light from mono laser beam which is separated into 2 or more optical patterns of light and dark pixels. When the angle and wavelength of the "reference beam" is adjusted, thousands of holograms can be stored in a single volume.
Reading/retrieval of data in holographic storage
In retrieval of data, the same "reference beam" used to create the data is reproduced. The beam will be focused on a photo-sensitive object or material, thus illuminating the particular interference pattern needed to retrieve the saved data. This pattern is then sent to a detector that can filter out the data required. This detector has the ability to read millions of “parallely” stored data. That is also what qualifies the Holographic data storage as the fastest in data transfer.
Longevity of this storage
This is also one of the advantages of holographic storage over some traditional storage devices. Because of its ability to store data in "WORM" (Write-Once, Read Many), data can be held for decades without altering or mutilating any information in it. And also, safety and security of the content is guaranteed. It has been proven that this storage device can hold the content without degeneration for over 100years. I'm not sure the optical storage can boast of this.
Very soon, as technology keeps evolving, this kind of technology will come in handy for the average humans to have in their various homes. I strongly believe advances are already being made in that effect. Technology keeps getting better.