Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Memory Sticker

Adhesive digital storage
  [vote for,

The future isn’t here yet, and the purely paperless office is still a rarity. Paper has some advantages, and digital storage has some advantages. To combine the best of both media I propose a sticker (either optical or magnetic) that can store a small amount of digital information. It’s about 2 cm square and can be stuck unobtrusively to any paper document.

It’s most common use would be to hold a digital copy of the paper document to which it is stuck, making it easier to copy, transmit or amend the document. It might also be used to store supplemental spreadsheet data, graphics, or sound.

The information on the sticker is written and read by a handheld device with a spinning or scanning magnetic or optical head. The read-write device is combined with a USB mouse, so when you want to gain access to the sticker contents, you simply place your mouse over the sticker and push the “read” button. The sticker files are copied onto your desktop.

AO, Apr 22 2003

DataGlyphs by Xerox http://www.parc.xer...s/techoverview.html
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Adhesive tape as a holographic storage medium http://www.pcworld..../0,aid,39082,00.asp
[half, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Video game software http://www.gamestop...product%5Fid=801431
...printed on a card. [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Neat. Seems like I've read that some RFID tags have a capacity of up to 1K of data, maybe they would do for some uses, and you could read them from several feet away too.   

       Also reminds me of a thing called "DataGlyphs" invented at Xerox PARC, which solve a similar problem by printing a grid of tiny marks in the "background" of the document. The advantage of DataGlyphs is they can be faxed as well, and any normal scanner can read them with appropriate software. See link.
krelnik, Apr 22 2003

       [krelnik]; that's genius! The XParc solution does not require a sticker and is self-generating and embedded in the document. The only limitation is the file size as determined by data density of the glyph size.   

       [AO]'s idea has a potentially higher storage capacity.   

       BTW, I regularly bake this idea in my own way by posting a URL to a PDF in the footer of my documents. The drawback, is that 20 years later, one is unlikely to find the URL linked file. OTOH, there is always the hardcopy and anyway, who's going to find a compatible glyph or sticker reader in 20 years' time?   

       You know, having just tried to develop some 30 year old photos, the glyph might have some application as a backup - a glyph on the reverse of a photo contains a compressed optical representation that can be used to recreate the whole photo, or just damaged parts of the photo.
FloridaManatee, Apr 22 2003

       [AO] +
[manatee] I was about to say the photo would contain more info content than the glyph, but then I noticed the word "compressed". Excellent. The glyph could also store info about the true colors of the photo, as they would tend to fade with time, or might not be reproduced correctly to begin with.
pluterday, Apr 22 2003

       this is a cool idea. maybe this could be combined with some sort of a image certification system with checksums for scanned images, such that the same document can be scanned by several systems and at different resolutions and still be verified by the same checksum. this would probably have to work along the lines of "this do document is 79.4% certified." as opposed to the current black/white kind of certification of digital documents.
ironfroggy, Apr 22 2003

       Smart Post-Its - intriguing. +
friendlyfire, Apr 22 2003

       [blaise] No, it's more than that - the idea I see here is the notion of encoding multiple copies of the same document on the same media to make it human readable and machine readable.
hippo, Apr 24 2003

       //It is amazing how impressed some people are by a fancy description of a bar code label and a bar code reader.//   

       10 digit bar-code = 10^10 = less than 34 bits = about 4 bytes. Whereas, we are discussing technology that could store many megabytes, embedded in the document.   

       The excitement (mine at least) is from the potential applications and the way it could improve things that could be better.   

       For example, I'm looking at a 67 page document that's been faxed, scrawled on, torn and photocopied. The information therein is still incredibly valuable to me, but I have to have it manually transcribed if I want to use the information again, because it wasn't practical to get a softcopy.   

       XParc (or [AO]'s) ideas could have made it possible.
FloridaManatee, Apr 24 2003

       If you have the sticker, why keep the original document?
phoenix, Apr 24 2003

       Because people don't have memory card readers hooked directly into their brains yet.
krelnik, Apr 24 2003

       But what if the paper version is out-of-date? What if the paper version is a set of emergency shutdown procedures for a nuclear reactor with errata?
phoenix, Apr 24 2003

       [phoenix] Same problem exists with any paper document. But with a memory sticker, you can easily make changes and print a new copy.
AO, Apr 24 2003

       Excellent. I've had a number of times when I wished I could just zap it into my computer instead of laboriously typing it in, or waiting for *every single page* to scan. +
galukalock, Apr 24 2003


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