Memory Spot - HP Unveils Revolutionary Wireless Chip That Links the Digital and Physical Worlds; Grain-Sized Chip Could Be Attached to Almost Any Object, Making Information More Ubiquitous. Image Credit: HP via The Pondering Primate
Popular Science Magazine's "Best Of What's New" 2006:
Originally introduced in a press release on July 17, 2006, this experimental chip, developed by the "Memory Spot" research team at HP Labs, is a memory device based on CMOS (a widely used, low-power integrated circuit design) and about the size of a grain of rice or smaller (2 mm to 4 mm square), with a built-in antenna.
The Memory Spot chips could be embedded in a sheet of paper or stuck to any surface, and could eventually be available in a booklet as self-adhesive dots (easy and productive).
The applications for a small RFID tag such as this are many and with no equal in terms of its combination of size, 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 even the Internet.
This from Hewlett-Packard -
Memory Spot chip wins Popular Science award
December 2006 -- Memory Spot, a wireless data chip that could help bridge the physical and digital worlds, received a 2006 "Best Of What's New" award in general innovation from Popular Science Magazine.
Developed in HP Labs Bristol, U.K., the chip provides high storage capacity and bandwidth comparable to standard RFID tags. The tiny chip can be stuck on or embedded in almost any object and make available information and content now found mostly on electronic devices or the Internet.
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. The chip is not yet available for commercial use.
" 'Best of What's New' is the ultimate Popular Science accolade, representing a year's worth of work evaluating thousands of products," says Mark Jannot, the magazine's editor. "These awards honor innovations that not only influence the way we live today, but that change the way we think about the future."
The 12-inch tall, hexagonal crystal trophy will be displayed in the main lobby of HP Labs Palo Alto, HP Labs headquarters, through the end of the year. At that time, it will go permanently to HP Labs Bristol.
Components of a "Memory Spot" CMOS chip - This is not just a robust, wrapped antennae with some memory as is the case with a standard RFID Tag. Image Credit: HP via The Future Of Things website
Additional information from a Hewlett-Packard press release -
Memory Spot chips have numerous possible consumer and business-based applications. Some examples are:
** Medical records: Embed a Memory Spot chip into a hospital patient's wrist band and full medical and drug records can be kept securely available.
** Audio photo: Attach a chip to the prints of photographs and add music, commentary or ambient sound to enhance the enjoyment of viewing photos.
** Digital postcards: Send a traditional holiday postcard to family and friends with a chip containing digital pictures of a vacation, plus sounds and even video clips.
** Document notes: A Memory Spot chip attached to a paper document can include a history of all the corrections and additions made to the text, as well as voice notes and graphical images.
** Perfect photocopies: A Memory Spot chip attached to a cover sheet eliminates the need to copy the original document. Just read the perfect digital version into the photocopier and the result will be sharp output every time, no matter how many copies are needed, and avoiding any possibility of the originals jamming in the feeder.
** Security passes: Add a chip to an identity card or security pass for the best of both worlds - a handy card with secure, relevant digital information included.
** Anti-counterfeit tags: Counterfeit drugs are a significant problem globally. Memory Spot chips can contain secure information about the manufacture and quality of pharmaceuticals. When added to a drug container, this can prove their authenticity. A similar process could be used to verify high-value engineering and aviation components.
This technology may find itself involved in privacy controversies ... giving a new meaning to the Lionel Richie song titled "Stuck On You"!