Finweek English Edition - - Communication & technology -

WHILE MUCH OF THE WORK at HP Labs is fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing so­lu­tions to prob­lems that the com­pany’s cus­tomers are likely to en­counter in the medium term, there are a num­ber of projects that look at the pos­si­bil­i­ties ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy pro­vide.

One of th­ese projects is the me­mory spot. This tech­nol­ogy takes a tiny pro­ces­sor, me­mory chip and an­ten­nae and com­bines it into a de­vice just a few mm squared.

On to the chip it’s pos­si­ble to load any type of data, but be­cause of the diminu­tive size it’s ridicu­lously cheap to man­u­fac­ture, around $0,11 (R0,81). The idea is that you would be able to buy any num­ber of th­ese chips and at­tach them to doc­u­ments, pho­tos or post­cards and then use a spe­cial reader to add voice, video or other in­for­ma­tion to the chip.

This could al­low you to send a post­card home from an ex­otic des­ti­na­tion with not only your writ­ten thoughts but also a short video clip of a lo­cal tourist at­trac­tion.

An­other idea would be to put a me­mory spot on each of your pho­tos in your album and put a dig­i­tal ver­sion of the photo on the spot, mean­ing your phys­i­cal photo album could be­come your stor­age spot for your dig­i­tal pho­tos.

One idea punted by Ed­ward McDonnell from HP Labs is to at­tach a me­mory spot con­tain­ing a dig­i­tal copy of the full doc­u­ment to the front page of the doc­u­ment. In or­der to copy the doc­u­ment you would just wave the me­mory spot over a reader on the printer and the whole doc­u­ment would print out.

This would also cre­ate a mar­ket for stand-alone de­vices that would be able to dis­play embed­ded images and doc­u­ments with­out the need for a com­puter.

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