In our laboratory, we mix low-intensity optical and microwave radiation using the quantum resonances of rubidium atoms. The Bose-Einstein condensate of ultracold atoms is loaded into an optical resonator and arranged in an optical lattice. Owing to the strong coupling with the photons, this atom-photon interface can act as a quantum memory with close to unit efficiency: ‘flying’ qubits encoded in fibre-guided photons can be transcripted into ‘standing’ qubits represented by long-lived quantum states of atoms. It can be retrieved from the atoms at will, by an appropriate coherent excitation scheme. This system will be developed so that these stationary quantum memory bits can be switched by microwave fields.