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.