Research like this continues to invite us to re-think how computing technologies can intersect with and enlive the world around us. This isn’t going to transform your PC or phone but rather will continue the trend of weaving computation into everything, even more so than the still relatively apparent propagation of the so-called Internet of Things. This technology also reminds us to ask: when memory is so available you can just literally paint it on, what would you do with it? Environmental sensors is really just the tip of the iceberg.
USB flash drives are already common accessories in offices and college campuses. But thanks to the rise in printable electronics, digital storage devices like these may soon be everywhere – including on our groceries, pill bottles and even clothing. Duke University researchers have brought us closer to a future of low-cost, flexible electronics by creating a new “spray-on” digital memory device using only an aerosol jet printer and nanoparticle inks.