Hewlett-Packard has developed a miniature wireless data chip that can be stuck onto ordinary objects to provide access to digital content.
The hardware manufacturer said the chip – about the size of a grain of rice – could either be stuck on or embedded in “almost any object”, including paper, to channel information and content usually found on electronic devices or the internet.
The Memory Spot chip has a 10 megabits-per-second data transfer rate – comparable to Wi-Fi speeds – and working prototypes have been built with storage capacities ranging from 256 kilobits to 4 megabits, enough to hold a very short video clip, several images or dozens of pages of text.
The chip can be read by a read-write device that could be incorporated into mobile phones, PDAs, cameras or printers. The device is held close to the chip, and powers it in order to transfer its data.
Ed McDonnell, Memory Spot project manager at HP Labs, said: “The Memory Spot chip frees digital content from the electronic world of the PC and the internet and arranges it all around us in our physical world.”
Commercial applications of the Memory Spot chip could include providing extra security on identity cards and passports or storing hospital patients’ records on a wristband, HP suggested.
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