USB drives are available now for only a few pounds in the United Kingdom, with prices dropping all the time. Even if you lose one of them on the move it isn’t a big expense to replace it.
A company has taken this concept to a new level by creating a flash drive that can be crumpled in hand and disposed off in the waste bin. The technology uses an embedded silicon chip to turn a piece of ordinary paper into a functioning USB drive.
The components are layered onto a regular sheet of paper with USB contacts exposed. When it is ripped from the sheet and folded in half the paper can then be inserted into any USB port and operated like normal.
Data can be transferred between the drive and computer and reused as often as wanted, or as the case may be, for as long as the contacts hold in place.
The embedded chip can store between 8MB and 32MB, depending on the options they want to offer at specific price points.
intelliPaper, the company responsible do supply a special reader and software to avoid damaging a ‘fresh’ card. There are also wireless options so the drive can communicate with a mobile device such as a smartphone.
While many people will be frowning at the long term reliability of such a device, there are many reasons why it could make sense. People on the move in a foreign country could send snapshots back to family members inside a postcard, easily removable and disposable afterwards. Businesses could also include the paper drives inside magazines for potential customers, so they could view presentations and other media.
We aren’t so sure the demand is there however, as indicated by a indiegogo fund raising campaign which only gathered $6,480 of a $300,000 goal needed.
Regardless, the company plan on releasing USB enabled note cards, called DATANOTES in mid 2013.
Kitguru says: Paper USB drives, would you use one?