GE announced in 2009 the development of a DVD size holographic disc that could store 500 GB, as much as 20 BlueRay single layer disc, almost 100 DVDs. The problem with that holographic disc was the speed of read and write, too low to make it appealing for every day use.
But now they are back, and this time their 500 GB holographic disc is as fast as any BlueRay. It should become commercially available in September.
GE has also announced they are expecting to deliver a 1TB capacity holographic disc next year.
The uptake, in my opinion, would not be quick. The installed base of magnetic discs (and their low price) makes it very difficult for new storage technology to win the market.
The great advantage of an holographic disc like the one of GE is the possibility to use many discs (whose cost is significantly lower than a magnetic disc drive) but this shift the interest towards archiving rather than real time access to information. To many of us, consumers, the interesting part of having always more capacious storage is the convenience of being able to keep all our data on line, al the time. An holographic disc would do that but only if you keep it in its reader…
Some issues, not clarified so far, regard the durability of the holographic support. Present DVDs are not that good for archiving material if you want to retrieve data 20 years from now. of course this is a problem for magnetic storage too but there you are more likely to “refresh it” from time to time (like when you copy your files to a more capacious disc…).
Personally I already had very unpleasant surprises when trying to retrieve photos stored 10 years ago on DVDs. Luckily, I had made three copy of them! Now they are all on 3 mag discs…just in case.