Raising the Expectation of Glass

We are all familiar with the use of flash drives, jump drives, memory cards, external hard drives, whatever you want to call them. Being a college student these technologies can add an overwhelming amount of stress to our lives. Keeping track of these small devices isn’t too much of a hassle, but what if all the information on them just seemingly disappeared? One of my professors likes to say something along the lines of, “its not if your hard drive will crash, it’s when.” He’s right. These miniature pieces of technology have an unknown lifespan and they can decide to crash whenever they want.

The Japanese company Hitachi believes that they have found a solution to the common flash drive. Hitachi has created a technology that can imprint information into a one-inch square of quartz glass. The company states that this piece of glass quartz is “heat resistant and water resistant, it’s also invulnerable to “many chemicals: and unaffected by radio waves.” Thought the data glass only holds about 40 MB of information at this time, its durability is pretty impressive. Company setbacks have pushed the release date to 2015—devices to write data on the chip and read the chip data must be made.
Hitachi claims that this device has the potential to last 100 million years without crashing. But really, for 100 million years? That’s a big number to brag about. It’s unfathomable to think that there are ways that tests could be ran to come out with this number. The average American doesn’t even have a life expectancy of 100 years. Will this technology even be pertinent in 100 million years? It’s great this lifespan has been given to the Hitachi data glass, but just say that it will last forever.

In the future this innovation to the common memory chip will be found useful. A flash drive always crashes at the worst possible moment. In a few years, if technology has developed enough, losing important data will be one less thing to worry about. The Hitachi data glass is an innovative technology that allows designers to do more with less materials than your average plastic and metal jump drive.



  1. adle0048

    For my blog post this week I am opting to respond to this post about the glass memory card. It is safe to say that I am completely blown away. Here we sit, adding papers and projects and hundreds of files to our computers. For the more fortunate, our lives revolve around these machines.

    Glass is a beautiful building material for a myriad of reasons. The effect it gives to a room when displayed as a curtain wall is phenomenal. Not only is glass influential to building, but also crucial to the success of Apple. The sensitivity to touch continues to allow us to keep the world at the tip of our fingers, pun intended. Perhaps we could think about glass in terms of a wine glass, or something used for hydration. To even begin to think that a small square of glass would hold 40 MB of information is astounding.

    Though this is extremely far fetched, have you thought about these being bigger, and used as an external hard drive for maybe an office? It seems ridiculous, but as Blaine showed us in class on Tuesday, the world is predicted to continue exponentially growing in terms of population, lifespan, and many other circumstances. At one point, all ideas seem crazy.. until 10-15 years later when they are actually constructed. What if they were to continue to expand on this idea and incorporate these chips within a glass curtain wall that would be able to communicate with a computer through wi-fi? Innovation knows no boundaries.

    Overall, I think the idea of this chip is remarkably innovative. A midst a world of constant upgrades, there’s no wonder they came up with a new method of storing information.

  2. lexxx329

    I think that this post is particularly interesting and relevant to the class lecture on glass. Blaine shared some of the ways glass was being used unconventionally in architecture such as in the glass bridge and your post provides an example of glass being used unconventionally in electronic technology. The claim of lasting 100 million years is astounding and it is hard to imagine how it is possibility or why we would need something to last that long. However, I do think that it provides many possibilities for storing important data that is too sensitive to store online. Perhaps in the future people will be keeping copies of their birth certificates or social security cards in glass drives that could survive an event such as a house fire. The notion of using glass to store information could also change many of the electronics we use on a day-to-day basis. If glass can be store data then maybe in the future we would be able to manufacture electronics with a lesser number of different materials. And if this were possible then would electronics be easier and safer to recycle? There are so many options for such an innovative use of glass and it is hard to imagine how prolific such a technology may be in the future.

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