Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/23/rvd_system/

Indian student develops paper-based storage system

'Rainbow Versatile Disc'

By Lester Haines

Posted in Storage, 23rd November 2006 09:47 GMT

A Kerala student claims to have invented an eco-friendly, paper-based storage system capable of compacting 90 to 450GB on a single disk, Arab News reports.

Sainul Abideen, 24, of the Muslim Educational Society Engineering College, says the secret behind his "Rainbow Versatile Disc" (RVD) is that "instead of using zeroes and ones for computing, he used geometric shapes such as circles, squares and triangles for computing which combine with various colours and preserve the data in images".

This "Rainbow Format" data is then read by a scanner. In a demo at his college lab, Abideen demonstrated 432 pages of foolscap content compacted onto a four-inch-square piece of paper. The Arab News correspondent said he also saw a 45-second video clip read from ordinary paper.

The advantages of the RVD are evident, Abideen says. It's cheap (one tenth of the cost of a CD, he claims, while offering 131 times the storage capacity) and planet-friendly (no nasty polycarbonates here). For example, magazines might dispense with the free CD and offer a Rainbow Data tearsheet instead.

Abideen is currently working on a RVD scanner compact enough to fit in laptops. He's also developing a SIM-card-sized Rainbow Data card for mobile phones capable of carrying 5GB. Thinking bigger, he moots the idea of a "databank with almost 123.60 Petabyte capacity". ®

Bootnote

Hmmm, we're sceptical too: "432 pages of foolscap content compacted onto a four-inch-square piece of paper"? You do the maths, but we reckon that's way short of a 90-450GB disk. Oh yes, and spare us the "I think you'll find there's already a perfectly good paper-based storage system: it's called a book" quips.