SanDisk Memory Vault – 100 years of photo safety?

SanDisk Memory VaultOver in California today the SanDisk Memory Vault has been announced, a new, specialised storage product, purpose-built to safely store photo and video files for “up to 100 years”.

I put quotation marks around the 100 years mention because firstly, it’s a quote from the company’s press release. Secondly, the term ‘up to’ is deliberately non-specific.

On what does SanDisk hang the longevity claim? It does so through the use of its Chronolock technology. Inside is not a hard drive, rather it “incorporates the key elements of advanced solid-state storage to create a proprietary memory management solution”. Solid state means no moving parts, therefore longer life.

In the box is:

  • SanDisk Memory Vault
  • USB 2.0 transfer cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Writable labels
  • Storage pouch

The Menory Vault is to be available in two sizes, 8GB and 16GB. US pricing is $49.99 and $89.99 respectively.

The SanDisk Memory Vault works with both PC and Mac. To be thorough, it works with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X v10.4.11 or above.

I’m off to a SanDisk media event next week, so watch this space, I’ll be sure to have more information on the SanDisk Memory Vault.

Update – post product launch

OK, this product was launched in Australia last week, and there’s more to be said. Firstly, the local pricing is as follows:

  • 8GB – $79.99
  • 16GB – $99.99

It will go on sale in Australia in the last quarter of 2011. You will also be able to buy the 8GB SanDisk Memory Vault and 16GB SanDisk Memory Vault at Amazon, where it will be quite a bit cheaper.

This is a new product area for SanDisk, and it requires looking at your library of images and files with a new eye, an editor’s eye if you will. Four or so years ago Kodak released a long-life DVD-R, the ‘Gold Preservation’ disc, the thinking being that we had begun to digitise so much of our music, photos, videos, etc, that we needed some sort of ‘storage guarantee’, getting them backed up from the storage drive crapshoot the is the hard drive, and on to a mode of storage that would guard against file degradation, and be safe for up to 100 years.

The SanDisk Memory Vault also throws around the 100 year figure, but there’s a bit of a change of gear regarding how we’re to use this particular storage device. For years now the mantra has been throw it all on a hard drive. Our digital libraries are bigger, hard drives are cheaper, so there’s been a 3 or 4 year education to back it all up. Back it ALL up.

But the initial release of the SanDisk Memory Vault sees a restriction to 8GB and 16GB of storage space. For some, that could simply be the images from one family holiday. What SanDisk want you to do with the Memory Vault is consider quality, not quantity. It wants you to pick the best photos and video, your most important files, and to very selectively copy them on to the SanDisk Memory Vault.

The Memory Vault uses solid state memory, that as no moving parts, and is less susceptible to damage. In addition, it throw in the super secret Chronolock technology. This is proprietary technology, and SanDisk could not say what it was. But with solid state memory, Chronolock technology, the metallic case and impact-dampening rubber feet, the SanDisk Memory Vault will give you pretty decent longevity. Note, the Memory Vault is not shockproof, waterproof or flameproof,

And don’t get too hung up on the 100-year figure. This is a best guess, based on the characteristics of the technologies. It could well last that long, but I see it as much a marketing point as it is proof of the tech of the SanDisk Memory Vault in the lab.

| SanDisk Australia |