A start-up company hopes to launch a new consumer data storage product that uses film-thin, graphene-based flash drives users can make notations on and then stick anywhere like a sticky note.
The namesake company, dataSTICKIES, said the futuristic design concept is aimed at replacing thumb drives that it said are difficult to insert into computers.
The graphene-based sticky note flash drives, which are only in conceptual stage right now, would relay data to a computer via a proprietary interface that the company calls Optical Data Transfer Surface (ODTS).
"DataSTICKIES are envisaged to solve this problem by carrying data like a stack of sticky-back notes," the company wrote on its website. "Each of the dataSTICKIES can be simply peeled from the stack and stuck anywhere on the proposed ODTS.
The ODTS would be a thin panel at the top of the graphene flash drive that's conductive. It would adhere to any surface, such as a computer screen or mobile device, and then wirelessly transfers the data through the proprietary protocol. As data is being read from the dataSTICKIES, the colored, translucent edges light up.
Marketing photos show dataSTICKIES with 4GB to 32GB of data storage capacity.
The wafer-thin flash drives would be constructed of a single layer of graphene.
Graphene, created by scientists less than a decade ago, is made up of carbon atoms and looks like chicken wire or lattice through an electron microscope. It is not only the thinnest material, but also the strongest known to exist.
Researchers at Rice University several years ago demonstrated Graphene Memory made from a layer of graphite only 10 atoms thick. The technology could potentially provide many times the capacity of current flash memory while withstanding temperatures of 200 degrees Celsius and radiation that would make NAND flash solid-state disk memory disintegrate.
Graphene memory not only has the potential to offer higher capacity in smaller form factors, but greater performance than today's industry standard floating-gate flash memory, or even charge-trap flash memory.
DataSTICKIES states on its website that the idea is to have the sticky flash drives come in various colors and patterns that make data segregation according to type and size easier. "They can be stacked and used together for increased capacity which also enables carrying them together," the company stated.
Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.