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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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Lack of Vision
By hurricane51 on 11/24/2006 8:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, I can't believe all the negative comments I'm reading here. Granted, I'm taking all this on the assumption that there's some truth to this technology, but most of the responses have been to compare it to current storage technology and find it's not up to snuff.

This appears to be an entirely new way of looking at storage media and algorithms, and there is simply no way to guess where it might lead. I think it is myopic to immediately categorize it as a replacement for anything. If you just sit down and give a thought to ways in which the current storage technoloigy are deficient, I think you can make some guesses as to how this new tech might me used. Immediately I came up with one: paper vs extremely complex and exotic hard drive platters as the storage medium. Cost? Availability?

Is there anyone else out there who can see beyond their noses?




RE: Lack of Vision
By saratoga on 11/26/2006 9:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wow, I can't believe all the negative comments I'm reading here. Granted, I'm taking all this on the assumption that there's some truth to this technology, but most of the responses have been to compare it to current storage technology and find it's not up to snuff.


Bad assumption.

quote:
This appears to be an entirely new way of looking at storage media and algorithms, and there is simply no way to guess where it might lead. I think it is myopic to immediately categorize it as a replacement for anything.


I'd say it appears to be an entirely new form of poor journalism. Whatever this guy invented, its not what the press release says.


RE: Lack of Vision
By Schrag4 on 11/27/2006 3:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, whether or not the report is accurate, why is this considered interesting storage news? It's not because of the speed, ability to rewrite, or durability. It must be because claims were made that VERY large amounts of data could be stored on a single sheet of paper.

Ok, so what makes it able to hold 'so much'? I think it's because each piece of info can hold more than just 2 values, unlike current storage, which holds zeros or ones (bits). So, can't we cram something onto a platter that has more than 2 possible states? Why do we have to make a quantum leap backwards to visually representing data on paper?

I believe that's why there is such skepticism going on here.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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