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HP unveils mini chip with mega potential

HP has developed a new technology called Memory-Spot - a self-contained storage device with a processor and wireless capabilities that can be attached to business cards, documents, photos and more.

Prototypes of the Memory Spot chip developed by HP Labs contain 256Kbits-4Mbits of memory and can transfer data wirelessly at speeds up to 10Mbits/s. According to HP, this storage amount allows the chips to hold a short video clip, digital pictures, or “dozens of pages of text”.

At a recent HP press event in Paris, HP officials showed Windows a photograph of a baby, which featured an embedded Memory-spot chip.

The demonstrator then took a reader - which was connected to a PC - and waved it over the photo.

A second later an audio file of a baby laughing began playing on PC.

“We can all see a value in audio being associated with a photograph and our challenge was to build a bridge between the physical and digital and to find a way to sprinkle digital dust over objects,” stated Huw Robson, director of Media Technologies Laboratory at HP Labs in Bristol, UK.

The idea behind the technology is to enhance real-world items like menus, advertising cards or photos.

According to HP, travel brochures contain static text and picture of landmarks and nature, but one of these tags could allow the authors to include videos of the places featured, as well as audio.

HP claims the tiny memory chip can be written to, and read from, in a fraction of a second.

The firm also appears confident about the success of the new chip, as the price of one looks set to be between just five and ten US cents per spot.

Additionally, HP officials went on to announce that a Memory-Spot reader could very soon make it into one of its an ‘iPaQ’-branded PDA phones.

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