When I was in primary school, I enjoyed reading and watching science fiction, and in particular, I was drawn to time travel themes. I would lose myself to the book or movie and imagine what things would be like in the future. I was awed at all of the “cool” things in the future. People would be communicating on wristwatch phones, have huge screen televisions at home, be driven around by autonomous cars, and entire cities would be monitored by 24/7 surveillance. Well, fast forward 30+ years, and guess what, so many of the futuristic things are now everyday items. It really is amazing what technologists have been able accomplish in such a short span of time. I didn’t know what a PC was back then, but now like most everyone else; I carry one in my pocket – also known as a smartphone. The futuristic world with its many gadgets is probably one of the reasons I studied engineering. I wanted to understand the technologies behind these devices, and maybe one day, be able to invent one on my own.
For the most part, technology is good. It really depends on how technology is applied that may draw out some of its pitfalls. Surveillance falls into this category. Privacy is a very sensitive topic, and as more and more surveillance is being installed around the world, a question of how much (lack of) privacy arises. The need for security post 9/11 has forced companies, industries, and even entire cities to install surveillance. Now with the pandemic spread of COVID-19, the use of surveillance and tracking devices/applications are being considered as a tool to curb the spread of the disease.
It is easy to locate surveillance cameras, since they seem to be everywhere nowadays, but most people are unaware of where all of the recording data is stored. Many years ago, surveillance recordings were capture and stored on (video) tape, but this was highly ineffective given the short recording time of the tape cassette and the physical space required to store and catalog all of the recordings. HDD use for surveillance was a great technological leap forward. Not only can HDDs record and store exponentially more data, HDDs are physically smaller and do not need to be removed or replaced.
Surveillance is one of the remaining HDD markets on the rise, and IDC projections show that this market is on pace to grow 5% CAGR through 2024, but more impressively surveillance HDD exabytes are forecast to increase 15% for the same period*.
Understanding the importance of this application, Toshiba developed a portfolio of HDDs specifically geared for surveillance and its rigorous workload. Toshiba’s S300 HDD Surveillance Series offers capacities from 4TB to 10TB¹. The S300 series is designed for 24/7 operations, speed, and longer content retention. Additionally, the S300 HDDs also supports up to 64 video cameras in high resolution. Moreover, one of the key advantages of the S300 is that you can configure multiple S300 HDDs in a RAID storage array to increase capacity and performance.
I am proud to be a member of the Toshiba HDD team and to be in a position to contribute to the development our technology, and though, I may not invent the next “cool” gadget, I get to first-hand experience of technology every day. In addition, the beauty of technology is that it never stops, and I am sure that the next wave of great-minded engineers will have many more new and “cool” technology for everyone to experience.
* Source: IDC, Worldwide Hard Disk Drive Forecast, 2020-2024, Document #US46255120, May 2020.
¹Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.