Dec. 2006 --
Scientific American magazine selected Memory Spot, a wireless data chip that could revolutionize how information is stored on paper and other objects, for its annual list of 50 technologies that demonstrate outstanding leadership in science and technology.
With no equal in terms of its combination of size (less than half the size of a grain of rice) memory capacity and data access speed, the tiny chip could be stuck on or embedded in almost any object and make available information and content now found mostly on electronic devices or the Internet.
The chip has a 10 megabits-per-second data transfer rate -- 10 times faster than Bluetooth™ wireless technology and comparable to Wi-Fi speeds -- effectively giving users instant retrieval of information in audio, video, photo or document form.
With a storage capacity ranging from 256 kilobits to 4 megabits in working prototypes, it could store a very short video clip, several images or dozens of pages of text. Future versions could have larger capacities.
Potential applications include storing medical records on a hospital patient's wristband; providing audio-visual supplements to postcards and photos; helping fight counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry; adding security to identity cards and passports; and supplying additional information for printed documents.
Memory Spot is not yet available for commercial use.
Announced in July, Memory Spot has been twice-honored this year. It also
received a 2006 "Best Of What's New" award in general innovation from Popular Science Magazine.
HP Labs has been on the Scientific American 50 list for three of the past five years.