So we've seen how cramming an incredible amount of information onto a small strip (ahem, RFID) is changing logistics and data processing functions, but the brains at HP have created something a bit more substantive. Cleverly named Memory Spot, their new wireless chip is the size of a grain of rice and can hold between 256k and 4MB of data (depending on its corresponding physical size); the Spot can disseminate information at 10Mbps to any reader-equipped device, such as a cell phone, notebook, or PDA. So what's the need for yet another fancy microtransmitter system? Well, it's the inherent storage capacity that makes the microscopic technology stand out over today's more familiar NFC technologies; HP seems to believe that Memory Spots can be used in storing medical records on patient's wristbands, adding audio clips to paintings, security passes, etc., eerily encouraging your imagination to go wild. (Just think of the dirt you could get on your mobile screen passing a bus-load of tagged inmates, yikes.) Howard Taub, VP of HP Labs, stated that these would go for 10-50 cents a piece when they're released commercially in a couple years, after which we're sure they'll immediately be put to good use within HP's management team.

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HP's very tiny wireless chip dubbed Memory Spot