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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 Motley on 11/28/2006 5:10:56 AM , Rating: 3
The math is fine.

First, notice he said you needed a scanner. He also says he'd need to develop a rainbow printer as well, you can't just use off the shelf $80 ink jets. The article, if you read it... He stored a 45-second video clip... And in the FUTURE, using the tech you may be able to store between 90 and 450GB of data.

Given a standard piece of paper (Of which the article doesn't even say it's that small), but let's just start with that. Today's scanners can do 48+ bit color scanning, and over 4000dpi.

8.5*11*48*4000*4000=71,808,000,000 bits of information. Or almost 9GB. Toss in some compression (ZIP-type lossless) which CAN compress some data to 1% of it's original size, and you have a theoretical data storage capacity of 900GB on a page. Add some error correction, and some fancy way of allowing the system to detect minor skews, and it's possible to store 450GB of data on a piece of paper TODAY.

Of course that 1:100 compression ration with ZIP-type compression isn't common, but that's not what the article said. In fact the guy didn't even claim he could do 450GB today. He said he did a 45-second video clip. I can store a 45-second video clip in my phone, and it'll take all of about 100k. It looks like total crap, but it is 45-second of video.

Not really BS, just not very useful.

RE: Sure
By s12033722 on 11/28/2006 8:19:50 PM , Rating: 2
What you are missing is that those "48+ bit" scanners are DIGITIZING to 48 bits, but do not in fact have 48 bits of meaningful information. The signal to noise ratio of those scanners is typically around 512 to 1 (or 8 bits per color for true 32 bit color) for a good unit.

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