Interesting Internet Projects: dataSTICKIES

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By Claire Frank

USB drives can be annoying. They are easy to lose, and having more than one can be confusing as there is no way of knowing what’s stored on one without plugging it in. USBs have to be plugged in a certain way, and many desktop computers have USB ports in the back, making them difficult to use.

Indian designers Parag Anand and Aditi Singh have come up with dataSTICKIES, a conceptual alternative to current USB drives. dataSTICKIES are paper-thin data storage devices that act like sticky notes. They attach to an “optical data transfer surface” (ODTS), a panel which is attached to computer screens and acts as medium where the dataSTICKIES transfer their information. To signal that dataSTICKIES are in use, the edges glow white.

dataSTICKIES come in a variety of colors and patterns to make it easy to differentiate multiple ones. They can also be written on, which aids in differentiation. They can be stacked or attached to most surfaces.

dataSTICKIES are made of graphene, a relatively new material composed of tightly packed carbon atoms. Very small amounts of graphene have the capacity to carry large amounts of data, allowing dataSTICKIES to be paper-thin.

As a concept, dataSTICKIES has potential. It won the 2013 Red Dot Award for Design Concept and is being heralded by technology media outlets as the future of data storage.

It is, however, just a concept, and it has its drawbacks. While smaller and thinner can be good, dataSTICKIES will be easy to lose. They could be attached to some papers and accidently thrown out (or recycled, since we’re green), or stuck in a book or folder and forgotten.

To read more about dataSTICKIES, go to http://www.red-dot.sg/en/online-exhibition/concept/?code=1039&y=2013&c=17&a=0.