This Tiny Wearable Disk Archives 1000 Languages for 10,000 Years
By Jake Rossen
For all of its benefits as a space-saving medium of convenience, digital storage still has one glaring asterisk: Files can be corrupted, leading to partial or total loss of information. Depending on the digital format used, there’s also a natural life expectancy to deal with. If an optical disc (like a DVD) is scratched, it inhibits retrieving information. If it’s a solid-state medium like a flash drive, continual rewriting can degrade the memory.
With that in mind, the team behind the historical archive Rosetta Project is going analog. They’ve created a tiny (.78 inch) wearable disk that houses 1000 pages of 1000 different languages still in use as of 2016. The files are visible to the naked eye and don’t require a digital deconstruction—just a microscope with magnification capability of at least 500x.
The first text on the disk is the "Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," rendered in 327 languages, beginning with Abkhaz.
The coin consists of a glass plate embedded with tiny bits of nickel that contain written examples of the languages. A laser is used to write the data onto the nickel. If all goes well, the disk is expected to last another 10,000 years—long enough to provide a historical relic for some future or alien civilization.
If you’d like your own, Rosetta will be happy to supply you with one after you’ve made a $1000 donation toward their archiving efforts.