Hewlett-Packard unveiled a memory chip the size of a tomato seed in its Palo Alto laboratories. The tiny chip, called the Memory Spot, can be attached unobtrusively to any object and carry media or data.
The Memory Spot will rival RFID tags in carrying information on movable physical objects. It has a 10 megabits-per-second data-transfer rate and can store up to 4 megabits of data.
The chip has an integrated antenna, which is why it is so much smaller than an RFID chip, which gets most of its size from the separately attached antennae. It receives power through inductive coupling from a special read-write device that extracts data from the memory on the chip.
The reading devices have yet to be developed, but HP thinks that mobile phone companies and PDA manufacturers will be interested in the technology.
HP demonstrated picture albums with the chip attached to the borders. When a reader touched the chip, audio from the picture was played. They also demonstrated waving a reader over the chip on a medicine bottle and getting the dosage, directions, and all other pertinent information from the prescription on the attached computer.
Other proposed applications include sending digital postcards with movies and sounds, attaching catalogs to merchandise, resumes to business cards, and digital information to a document in order to photocopy it without scanning.
Sounds really good, and a lot more cool and interesting things could come out of using technology like this, yet we must not forget all the privacy concerns that were raised because of RFID, and that would apply here as well if put in the wrong hands.