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Store 256GB on an A4 sheet

New cheap bio-degradable storage

Article comments

How much information can you store on an A4 sheet? Well, according to some new technology designed by an Indian engineering student, an extraordinary 256GB.

With 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.

Update: But following this article and widespread coverage of the claims, the claimed storage technology has been widely and roundly dismissed as not possible. See our article "Can you get 256GB on an A4 sheet? No way!" for a full rundown.

We have also come across some interesting new technology from Xerox for the next generation of barcodes, where huge amounts of information are stored in a tiny readable space.

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.

He says that smaller scanners could fit inside laptop computers or mobile phones, and read SIM card-sized RVD's containing 5GB of data.

The recording media could be either paper or plastic sheets. Such media are making a comeback - witness yesterday's story about re-writable paper.


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preeti said: plz send more informatiom about how to represent the dots on paper

santhu said: how it stores the data

santhu said: what is the inerface to it

Salafrance Underhill said: Lets say that we can print to a resolution of 1800dpi using a binary dotno-dot code Well assume perfect readwrite fidelity and double-sided A4 paper with no margins The dimensions of A4 are 117 x 83 inches The byte count is therefore2 x 117 x 83 x 1800 x 1800 78659100 bytes or 75 megabytes 8Given that geometric shapes will require multiple dots to render and will in essence comprise a subset of the set of all dot configurations this is magic pixie dustThere are practical working open-source digital-to-paper systems in existence - look up PaperBack The author claims Up to 500kb per page

Ivy said: hii would like to know whether u got any replies for your comments regarding rainbow technologynearly 2 years backif so plz respondivy

Ivy said: the idea is greatbut how u can just store such an amount of data into A4size paperif so how can it be scanned ampallis it paper or some other sort of mediumneed more informationplsprovide on details ivy18stgmailcom

Mehr Mehrin said: i think its possible Maynot be now But it may be possible in the future when good and more accurate printers and scanners come to use

Richmond Britwum said: Hope it be true so that we can make our world clean as this is the same as recycling

amar nath said: even though it is possible if we need to access data we to convert the data to computer there by more conversions are neededisnt there any way we can use this data directly if it is possible then new type of hard disk can be generatedeven they can exceed tara bytes of data

Krishna Murthy B said: Need to know more about this

kiran peter c said: IT MAY BE POSSIBLE BUT I WANT MORE ampDETAIL EXPLANATION ABOUT IT kiranpetercgmailcom

John said: Multi-data can be stored on paper and scanned back on a standard scanner This was demonstrated years ago on bbcs tomorrows world I tried the downloadable square which consisted of black amp white dots which when scanned into the program provided gave layers of music pictures and text which were of good quality I hope this information will be of help to your readers

niraj said: hows it possible if possible than it will change the world great go on research and make it true i know that indians can do it

neuromancer said: When we have processors with Paper

sundar ganesh said: Is it an ordinary A4 sheet or anything else designed speacially for this type of storage I need some more explanations about the storing techniques in RVD and more images based on that Send answers for my questions to sundarganesh1987yahoocoin

Jack Dawson said: The complete statement of Mr Sainul Abideen is in keral com link belowwwwkeralcomHappeningsRAINB

Jack Dawson said: I think this statement is made by Mr Chris Miller who is trying to degrade Mr Sainul Abideens statement on rainbow storage system

Harish Pandian said: I wonder that how can a A4 sheet can accomadate 256 GB in it What is the technology behined it in storing

Ozzy Osborn (no relation) said: if this is true then we are looking a the revolution in computers this makes me wonder would you be able to scan the paper onto you computer and store that 256GB as a jpeg or some other picture format if this is possible then the storage possibilitys are endless if any one knows if this is possible pleas e-mail me at somkey440rockcom or gmailcom

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