The technical advance will never stop to surprise me. New “rainbow technology”, devised by Sainul Abideen who has just completed an MCA degree in Kerala, data can be encoded into coloured geometric shapes and stored in dense patterns on paper. Files such as text, images, sounds and video clips are encoded in “rainbow format” as coloured circles, triangles, squares and so on, and printed as dense graphics on paper at a density of 2.7GB per square inch. The paper can then be read through a specially developed scanner and the contents decoded into their original digital format and viewed or played. The encoding and decoding processes have not been revealed. Using this technology an A4 sheet of paper could store 256GB of data. In comparison, a DVD can store 4.7GB of data.
The Rainbow technology is feasible because printed text, readable by the human eye is a very wasteful use of the potential capacity of paper to store data. By printing the data encoded in a denser way much higher capacities can be achieved. Paper is, of course, bio-degradable, unlike CDs or DVDs. And sheets of paper also cost a fraction of the cost of a CD or DVD. Abideen has demonstrated a 45-second video clip being encoded on paper, termed by him, a rainbow video disk – RVD – and then played back through a computer with an RVD scanner attached. In another demonstration he has shown 432 A4 pages of paper rainbow format-encoded and stored on a two-inch by two-inch square of paper. First micro flash drives, now special papers. What’s next?