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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: Sure
By feelingshorter on 11/24/2006 5:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
I think this is BS also. Now that i think about it, you can only compress an imagine so far. To be able to put 450gigs or 95 full 4.7 gig dvds on a piece of paper is laughable. Lets say you are storing 95 full 4.7 gig movie DVDs. I can only imagine that it is impossible to find a pattern to which you can create a logarithm to compress 450 gigs on a single piece of paper. Sure this is taking into account that the shapes will also be colored, but DVD movies are also in color. To say that you can store 450 gigs worth of...say movies... on a piece of paper...

I'm just saying 450gigs on a regular sheet of paper is BS. Maby somewhere along the lines of 10-40 gigs more like it. For 450 gigs to happen, it will be a special factory made "paper size" material that wont be made of paper. In the future of course. Even then, you can only compress an image file so much.

What if it was 450 gigs worth of JPEG files? To say that you are going to use shapes/colors to replicate the image in a digital format on a piece of paper....hell you mind as well just print the image out. Maby someone has a 450 gig picture that they print out on a piece of paper. Hows that for 450 gigs worth of information?

RE: Sure
By psychobriggsy on 11/25/2006 7:51:54 AM , Rating: 2
Whilst I agree that the 450GB aspect is nonsense right now, and even 1GB seems preposterous (and why use large 'shapes' instead of small shapes for binary representation?), I take issue with your claim that printing the image would be better, especially in the case of video.

JPEG and digital video (e.g., H264) are heavily compressed to fractions of their decompressed size.

How much? Lets take a 720P 10mbps video stream. A single frame (1280x720, 24-bit colour) takes up 2700KB of data. A second (60fps) is therefore 158MB of data, or 1266mbps. Yet the stream is 10mbps! The compressed file is under 1% the size of the decompressed file.

Quite clearly storing the compressed file is better than printing out the images from each frame of the video, even if the encoding used is bulkier.

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