Ah, holographic storage -- you've held so much promise for cheap optical media since you were first imagined in research papers published in the early 60s. Later today, GE will be trying to keep the dream alive when it announces a new technique that promises to take holographic storage mainstream. GE's breakthrough in microholographics -- which, as the name implies, uses smaller, less complex holograms to achieve three-dimensional digital storage -- paves the way for players that can store about 500GB of data on standard-sized optical discs while still being able to read DVD and Blu-ray media. Better yet, researchers claim a price of about 10 cents per gigabyte compared to the nearly $1 per gigabyte paid when Blu-ray was introduced. The bad news? We're talking 2011 or 2012 by the time microholographics devices and media are introduced and even then it'll only be commercialized for use by film studios and medical institutions. In other words, you'll likely be streaming high-def films to your OLED TV long before you have a microholographic player in the living room.

Update: And out pops the press release.

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GE microholographic storage promises cheap 500GB discs, Blu-ray and DVD compatibility