Remember the days before the advent of personal computers and digital photography? Paper was the primary medium to store information, including documents and photographs. They’re prone to damages from fire, water, or even mischievous kids. As they age, papers get yellowish and photographs fade.
Some people are still fond of old photos. IBM is apparently one of them, and is bringing the natural aging process to digital files. The company has applied for a patent for its Aging File System, which has the following description:
A method, programmed medium and system are provided for a file system that provides for the aging of information and files stored thereon. Digital data stored on the aging file systems ages appropriately as would normal paper or photographs without the need for an external application. The aging file system uses a number of parameters depending on what type of digital data are stored. For example, parameters like ambient temperature, rate of aging, simulated type of paper or photo paper are selected and may be input to a filing system at configuration time. The aging file system also creates and stores digital authentication certificates to provide a unique certificate number based on the aged digital information.
The system would artificially degrade the quality of your digital photographs and documents, proportional to the amount of time they are stored and other relevant factors. What is it good for? That will be for IBM to answer.