Let’s not kid ourselves, when it comes to next generation HD DVD and Blu-ray discs it is all about capacity. High Definition be damned, this media is only promoted for HD because of the storage available and if clever little blokes from Japan have their way even a standard DVD could hold more.
This week boffins at Kyoto University, Japan officially announced a mind bending new method for recording data to optical media. The method involves the manipulation of a light beam’s constituent photons which enabled the team to reshape the beam. Many pretty contours were created including hollow and concentric hollow beams but the one we all care about is a simple solid beam with a much smaller diameter than was previously possible.
The upshot is data can be written far more tightly together with Kyoto’s finest saying it could mean up to 10x more data can be written to any optical format. Of course about now you’re all saying “Nice, but what kind of space age drives are we going to need to read this stuff?” Here’s the cool part: the reduced beams were created without modifying the wavelength of the laser so theoretically it would be compatible with existing hardware.
Of course why apply this technology to make an 87GB dual layer DVD when you can make a 500GB Blu-ray dual layer layer disc? After all the next gen media will probably cost washers once this technology is ready for the mainstream in a few years.
Until then I’m going to use the time to muse on the cultural differences between Japanese and English university lives. One involves ground breaking research into laser beams, the other involves Australian soap operas, Pot Noodles and Marijuana…
For those who asked, the picture has nothing to do with the story. There were no pictures and besides laser guns are cool… just think about it: LASER GUNS!