Tape as data storage
It sounds like an April Fool's joke, but it's a groundbreaking innovation: Researchers have succeeded in storing data on commercially available adhesive tape. The computer scientists around Dr. Steffen Noethe at the Chair of Computer Science V, Prof Dr. Reinhard Mann of the University of Mannheim has succeeded in storing data on adhesive tape with a storage density that allows 10 gigabytes of data to be stored on an adhesive tape roll that is 19 mm wide and 10 m long. The data is inscribed point by point as binary information with a laser or stored as digital holograms, which enables the data to be read out very quickly. In addition, there is a technique to expose the data in the depth of the material. This means that data can be written to and read from a roll of scotch tape without unrolling the film. The adhesive ensures that there are no disturbing reflections on the surface of the foil between the layers and at the same time enables the individual layers to be found by the laser writing beam.
In the next 5 years, a removable drive similar to a roll of adhesive tape, with the entire write and read head in the core of the roll, is to be built in Mannheim. Due to its compactness, the drive should be used in pocket computers and digital video cameras.
Another area of application is the holographic microbar code and security code for holograms. Since the optics required for reading are already present in the holograms exposed in adhesive tape, they can be read out again with a standard laser pointer. Authenticity certification can be carried out in a simple manner using special coding. Industry is very interested in this application.