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If you think optical discs are dead and are a sign of the past, maybe you need to take this into consideration – Sony and Panasonic have just announced in Tokyo that they have signed a basic agreement with the objective of developing the next-generation optical discs that are said to have a recording capacity of at least 300GB. The two companies have even set a deadline for this ambitious project: before the end of 2015.
This announcement is important because it will target regular consumers, not the professionals that were looking for high-capacity optical solutions in the past. This means that both Sony and Panasonic are working together to figure out a way to make this technology available to everybody, at affordable prices.
300 GB discs by the end of 2015
These days every major tech company seems to be focused on the opportunities that the cloud offers, with Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon being only a few names. But new companies like Dropbox and other start-ups are also inventing solutions for storing your files. However, there still are enough reasons why one would choose to have his data backed up on a physical optical disc. From Sony’s announcement:
Optical discs have excellent properties to protect them against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them a robust medium for long-term storage of content.
Both companies have previously developed products based on the Blu-ray format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs. However, both Sony and Panasonic recognized that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage in years to come given the expected future growth in the archive market, and responded by formulating this agreement.
Both Sony and Panasonic have previously developed technologies that now seem complementary for the technology needed to make optical discs have a recording capacity of more than 300 gigabytes. Besides the price, other challenges that the two companies have to face are the data transfer speeds and the thinness of the discs.
I for one am quite excited about this. Imagine having all your favorite movies stored on a single disc instead of a heavy and expensive external hard drive. But I really hope I won’t have to pay 100 dollars for a disc.