Golden Memories

Caveau is releasing glass DVDs that promise to last a century

The data or pictures will last between three and five years in your hard disk or DVD-R, and 10 for a DVD ROM. Wouldn't it be better if you could keep your memories, stories or pictures in a time capsule that lasts for a century? Now there is an alternative. The latest technology for media storage is glass DVD by Caveau of Germany, and it enables you to store your memories in a 99.9% gold glass master that promises to last a lifetime.

Gold glass DVDs have a guaranteed life of more than 100 years and comes in a package designed to be long lasting.

Pharkphum Benyakorn is the Thai engineer and partner of Caveau who has worked with Optical Disc Alliance, the holding company of Caveau in Germany. He is introducing the glass DVD to Thailand because he believes the technology can store a great deal of cultural heritage and archival material.

In Europe, the glass DVD has been used by several large organisations such as the German National Archive and The Archives Nationales (of France), Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen.

Branded "Infinisc", the glass archive used the company's technology to etch data into glass substrate one, coat the etched glass with a reflective layer such as gold or nickel vanadium, and seal the reflective layer with glass substrate two. It's scientifically proven to last more than 100 years, and it is professionally recorded DVD-compatible archiving media. It is fully compatibility with DVD and is guaranteed to play in any DVD or Blu-ray player.

With data etched in the glass substrate, an Infinisc disk is protected from temperature, humidity and flame. A disk is produced using the same technology as the master copy of Hollywood movies.

Caveau is now discussing with the Thailand Creative and Design Centre and the Advertising Association of Thailand to archive the winner of the TAGS Award. It also plans to approach the National Archives of Thailand.

"Germany is very much aware of preserving their historical information, a lot of precious documents and treasures have been destroyed after World War II, the country thus has been so much value to the historical information protection," he said.

While DVD-R has been now the mainstream media storage used by individuals and organisations, a lot of organisations, especially museums and national archives face a problem as they have to re-store the data every five to 10 years. DVDRs can be used for three to five years, while DVD ROMs have a lifespan of 10 years because the material is polycarbonate plastic. DVDs are composed of several layers of plastic; each layer is created by injection moulding polycarbonate plastic, while it stores the data with heat in the plastic substrate, it is fairly sensitive to scratches, temperature variations, sunlight, humidity and chemicals.

Unlike ordinary DVDs, the media developed by Caveau is the glass, the storage is done by engraving data into the glass _ the durability, the company claims, is comparable with stone inscription.

Members of the Caveau team embarked on the optical media business in 1992. Since then the company has developed the optical media mastering system, high density mastering systems, technology for permanent archiving media and last year the company completed the installation of the first optical system for permanent archiving media. The glass DVD becomes the world's first of permanent archiving media.

The technology of glass DVD was first introduced when the company developed the Phoenix DVD that Nasa sent to Mars in 2008. The disk contains Visions Of Mars, a multimedia collection of literature and art about the red planet. The Phoenix DVD is made by the same Infinisc technology and is designed to withstand the Martian environment, lasing for hundreds (if not thousands) of years while it awaits discovery.

Besides corporate clients, the glass DVDs will be introduced to the retail market and Thailand will be the first country where the high-class DVDs will be available. The launch will take place at the Luxury Festival at Impact Muang Thong Thani from Oct 6-14.

Priced at 200 each (8,000 baht), the silver glass DVD serves government agencies or any organisation whose data needed to be stored for a long time. The gold glass features more luxurious packaging for display, and it serves for individuals who want to keep their once of the time memory. The gold DVD comes in two packages, one for 600, and two for 900.

About the author

Writer: Sasiwimon Boonruang
Position: Life Writer