When Old Technologies Create New Industries

Consider the Norwegian technology company Piql. Piql uses celluloid photosensitive film – a technology introduced in the 1880s first for photography and later for the cinema industry – to convert digital files into a physical safety copy that can last over 500 years. Data is written in QR codes on film, which contains readable instructions so that any person wanting to access this data at any time will know how to retrieve it regardless of specific technologies or vendors. Piql is responding to the explosion of demand for data storage. We’re barely at the beginning of the Internet of Things, and data is already growing at 40% per year. At the same time, data-storage technology is changing so fast that public institutions and large companies are at risk of losing the ability to read the data they are storing. (Remember floppy discs?)

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