We’ve seen plenty of TV shows and movies, especially Mission Impossible, where the device Ethan Hunt is reading his mission briefing on explodes at the end. This is to prevent the enemy from getting their hands on the device and reading its sensitive contents. Now thanks to the efforts of Xerox’s PARC, we can live out those fantasies.
The company has recently developed a chip that can actually self-destruct on command. This essentially guarantees that no one will be able to piece it back together to read what was on it. How does this work? This was done through the use of glass. In this case, the company used Corning’s Gorilla Glass but they modified it to make it tempered glass under extreme stress.
They then embed a small resistor at the bottom which when heated by a laser, would cause the glass to explode. However it did not stop there as they shards continued to crumble and break apart into smaller pieces. The end result is a pile of dust at the bottom of the container, which you can check out for yourself in the video above.
Presumably this technology will be applied to industries that require strict security, like the military for example. However we suppose it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that one day a similar technology could allow us to wipe our mobile devices or computers completely.
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