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Abideen claims to have placed a 45 second video clip on a single sheet of paper, with the possibility of up to 450GB on the horizon - Image courtesy Arab News
Rainbow technology still in the works but holds promise

According to a report from the Arab News, a university technology student named Sainul Abideen has invented a method of storing massive amounts of digital data on a plain piece of paper that he claims could store many times the capacity of the best Blu-ray or HD-DVD discs. In fact, Abideen says that his Rainbow technology can enable him to store from 90 to 450GB on a piece of paper. As far as a real life demonstration of a 450GB paper goes, the technology still needs development.

Abideen, who hails from the Kerala, India, claims that that his Rainbow system is better than a binary storage because instead of using ones and zeros to represent data, Abideen uses geometric shapes such as squares and hexagons to represent data patterns. Color is also used in the system to represent other data elements. According to Abideen, all that's required to read the Rainbow prints is a scanner and specialized software.

The reporter at Arab News claims to have seen 450 pages of fully printed foolscap being stored on a 4-square inch piece of Rainbow paper. The reporter also claimed that he was shown a 45-second video clip that was stored using the Rainbow system on a plain piece of paper. Interestingly, 45-seconds of video isn't a lot, and if the Rainbow system can store up to 450GB, then we need to be watching full length high-definition videos from a piece of paper.

One of the major advantages of the Rainbow system is the fact that it should cost a lot less to produce than typical polycarbonate DVD and CD discs. Abideen claims that huge databanks can be constructed out of Rainbow-based storage mediums. Although the main attraction is cheap paper right now, other media can use the Rainbow system too.

As of right now, Abideen's system is still under research at the Muslim Educational Society Engineering College and although no major companies have expressed interest, Abideen is confident of the system's future. According to the report, Aibdeen is hard at work at developing a Rainbow scanner that would be small enough for integration into notebook computers. If developed, a Rainbow printer will likely be next up.

In other high-capacity storage news, DailyTech previously reported that Hitachi-Maxell is in the progress of producing holographic media for shipment this year. Holographic storage is one of the biggest forward-looking storage technologies and holds a great deal of promise -- as well as data.


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RE: Unpractial
By ninjit on 11/24/2006 4:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
The use of shapes and colors means more symbols allowing you to store more data.

Think of it in terms of a binary digit string vs a hexadecimal string:

a 32-bit binary string is 32 characters long, but the same information in hexadecimal is only 8 characters long.

The problem with more symbols is that it could lead to ambiguity - e.g. an octagon could look like a circle or a hexgon, etc. leaving a lot more room for errors in interpretation.
Binary data has the least ambiguity: it's either there or it 's not


RE: Unpractial
By Russell on 11/24/2006 4:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

I think the ambiguity issue isn't a big one so long as the scanners and printers use a high enough resolution to scan or print them without confusion.

What concerns me is what happens to the data if the page is folded. That could screw up everything along the fold.


RE: Unpractial
By ghost101 on 11/24/2006 4:17:35 PM , Rating: 2
I was just wondering about the scanning issue. Wouldnt it be exactly the same as using binary?


RE: Unpractial
By ghost101 on 11/24/2006 4:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, nothing is as simply and clear cut as binary. As for people complaining that paper can burn and fade. Well, if printed and stored properly im sure it will last as long as for what it has been designated for. As for burning, i dont think CDs will survive a fire.

I dont think this will catch on though as shown by the lack of corporate interest.

Also, whats this errorsafe popup i always get on dailytech but nowhere else?


RE: Unpractial
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 11/24/2006 4:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

Also, whats this errorsafe popup i always get on dailytech but nowhere else?

We have a rogue ad we're trying to track down and get rid of.

Kristopher


RE: Unpractial
By saratoga on 11/26/2006 3:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The use of shapes and colors means more symbols allowing you to store more data.


Colors yes, shapes no. Shapes are just groups of pixels. A shape that is made of 10 pixels contains no more information then the 10 pixels that compose it. Colors do help though since they allow each pixel to have more information.

quote:
Think of it in terms of a binary digit string vs a hexadecimal string:

a 32-bit binary string is 32 characters long, but the same information in hexadecimal is only 8 characters long.


Yes but the characters are now more complex. Encoding the 32 binary characters can be done using just 1 32 bit color pixel, or 32 black/white pixels. Encoding each of the 8 hex characters requires 4 black white pixels. Either way the maximum information capacity is the same.



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