The future of archiving may not involve tape nor spinning disks. In a proof of concept test for “Project Silica,” Microsoft researchers successfully saved a copy of Warner Bros.’s 1978 classic, Superman, “on a piece of glass roughly the size of a drink coaster” totaling 75.6 GB. The beauty of this storage medium is that it can last hundreds of years, surviving everything from floods to solar flares.
Warner Bros., which approached Microsoft after learning of the research, is always on the hunt for new technologies to safeguard its vast asset library: historic treasures like “Casablanca,” 1940s radio shows, animated shorts, digitally shot theatrical films, television sitcoms, dailies from film sets. For years, they had searched for a storage technology that could last hundreds of years, withstand floods or solar flares and that doesn’t require being kept at a certain temperature or need constant refreshing.