HP Invents Tiny Wireless Data Chip

Posted on July 31, 2006

Memory SpotHewlett Packard (HP) announced that they have developed a miniature wireless data chip they called the Memory Spot. HP says the chip could be embedded or stuck on objects and "make available information and content now found mostly on electronic devices or the Internet." The chips are about the size of a grain of rice and could eventually be printed as self-adhesive dots. Here are some uses HP says could arise from this new technology.
  • 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.
  • Engadget reports that the chips will cost 10 to 50 cents each. PC World flags some security risks with the chip from HP.

    Photo: HP