Recently I’d mentioned that Caltech had made some breakthroughs in light manipulation, and its use for running a computer.

Well it seems the traditional idea of the computer is going to be going through another evolution with the advent of “memory crystals” a la the Superman films and the work of lead research Martynas Beresna from the Southampton University optoelectronic research centre.

Like the Fortress of Solitude, researchers have figured out a way to alter glass with laser beams to allow it to act like a conventional hard drive, but with greater storage possibilities and a much more durable format.

Currently the altered glass can store up to 50GB of data – equivalent of a whole Blu-ray disc – on something the size of a mobile phone screen, capable of withstanding temperatures up to 1,800F, and an expected lifespan of thousands of years without any data degradation.

For large organizations this could be a huge step forward in archiving their files, a process that they currently repeat every five to ten years due to the relatively short lifespan of hard-drive memory.