By changing the orientation of where and how data is stored on a hard drive, companies will be producing capacity record breaking storage devices. Mobile drives will see the benefit first, but the technology will come to the desktop, 3.5 inch drive, soon enough. So don't be surprised when storage capacities skyrocket over the next year. You'll probably be asking for a new 160 GB iPod before you know it. Toshiba was the first to announce a commercially available drive using a perpendicular recording method in late 2004. They were able to fit 40 GB on to one platter of a 1.8 inch hard drive. That particular drive is only 5mm thick, 3mm thinner than previous 40 GB drives of the same size. There were rumors it was going to be used in Apple iPods made sometime in early 2005. Hitachi followed in March 2005 by showing off their own perpendicular recording technology that boasted a hefty 230 gigabits per square inch (which is about 28 gigabytes in one square inch). According to Hitachi, they can get 20 GB onto a 1 inch micro drive! They also released a nifty flash animation vis-à-vis School House Rock about the technology, which generated some internet buzz - viewable in the link above, and I suggest you view it . Seagate, very recently, unveiled its own perpendicular hard drive for notebooks. It raises the maximum capacity of 2.5 inch notebook drives to 160 GB. It seems like companies will put their effort into creating perpendicular recording drives for small, mobile tech before venturing towards desktops. After all, mobile devices are relatively under-stocked with their storage capabilities. The next boom in mobile storage will happen with home video recorders. JVC announced a consumer level camcorder with no discs or tapes - simply a 20 or 30 GB hard drive to store your video on. For most desktop users, we don't need any more data than is already available to us at an affordable price. Although companies, networks storage, professionals and amateur audio/video editors could always use more space on their drives. There is also reduced heat and noise from the hard drive when fewer platters are used. Instead of a 3 or 4 platter 300 GB drive, you might see only 1 or 2 platters giving the same storage capacity.