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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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A slightly different turn
By iNGEN on 11/24/2006 4:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
This is one of those "silent thunderclap" technologies people never pay much attention to until it is in full use somewhere. This particular approach may never see widespread use, as there have been numerous attempts to encode data in similar means. So the idea is more evolutionary than revolutionary. If you really want to evaluate this technology simply remove the term paper and replace it with "two dimensional optical media".

The compression analogy is a good one. The bulk of the idea is to separate data density from what it has, throughout the history of modern computing, been inexorably tied to: The physical capacity of the storage medium.




RE: A slightly different turn
By Wwhat on 11/25/2006 9:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
They already used a pattern printed on ID cards that decode to the picture on the ID's, to prevent manipulation or falsification, by scanning the pattern a computer display shows the picture and if it's different from the normal one on the ID you know it's fake.
Same thing as now the RFID does but without using chips.
So indeed the concept as such is not completely new and has been tried before.


RE: A slightly different turn
By Visual on 11/27/2006 6:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
you are so very wrong...
patterns on id cards, or the data in a rfid chip for that matter, usually only represent a database id, and then the actual data like photo or anything is queried from the database.


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