HP's new Memory Spot chip -- set for its official unveiling today -- is a prime example of how consumer tech is dominating R&D in the sector.
HP's main selling point for the new $1 chip -- which can hold up to 15 seconds of video or dozens of pages of text -- is for applications like user manuals for consumer goods that can never be lost, or even personalized "post-it notes" that can append a voice recording to the back of a photograph.
The chip won't hit the market for at least two years, but it's winning huge raves as a next-gen replacement for printing. The chips also support encryption, which would make them ideal for the health care and pharma industries, one enterprise vertical that all tech vendors covet.
Enterprise uses, such as updateable inventory tags, are obvious, but analysts and HP are eager to point out that the chips do not pose a challenge to RFID. For one thing, they'll cost about $1 a pop -- UPS recently nixed RFID in much of its business, and radio tags are down to about 12 cents each.