IntelliPaper Embeds Digital Data in Print
The next time someone trots out the phrase “print is dead” here's your response: “Actually, didja know they're making USB drives out of paper now, so you can literally plug print pieces into your computer?” This might get you a look of disbelief in return, but it is true.
Paper USB drives that you can fold and tear off of a printed piece are just one of a number of digital paper projects by a company called Intellipaper. Electronic components are embedded into what otherwise seems to be a normal piece of paper, resulting in the ultimate mashup of print and digital data.
Currently, if you want to use Intellipaper's technology, you place a custom order where they do all the printing and loading of data. But the company expects to ship blank media this year on which customers will be able to print and program their own content. The expected capacity of printed USB drives is 8–32 MB by mid-2013.
This could be the first step in print's ultimate revenge. Over the past two decades countless print publications have been consumed by the internet. Now it's possible to move your digital files into a printed piece.
Here's how it works:
The product is composed of three layers of ordinary paper sandwiching a tiny silicon chip.
After the chip has been loaded with data, you can fold and tear off a portion of the paper and insert it into a USB port, where it will function like any other portable drive.
It also works wirelessly, so you can tap an NFC-capable device to a piece of SmartPaper to read its contents.
Potential uses include brochures, business cards, mailers, magazine inserts and more.
Here's a video demonstrating Intellipaper: