My little daughter is growing up and doing wonderfully, seven months now. Words fail me, she's so cute. Here, let me show you a picture. I have one in my wallet. OK, it's a little out of date: taken when she was two months old.
What I need is a digital photo that fits into my wallet. Just a handful of these, credit-card sized, and I can keep my friends and colleagues rightly bored with baby stories.
So here comes more damn prior art number 8.
It's a credit card that is printed on one side with digital paper. For sake of argument we'll fast-forward to 2010 when digital paper really is cheap and available. The card has a small chip on the back side, like today's smart cards. The front side shows a picture in full glorious color. A reflective layer behind the pigments uses ambient light to illuminate the pixels.
The other half of the kit is a small digital camera, the throw-away kind. It clips over the card, making contact with the chip connectors, and takes one photo. The digital paper shifts to show the new image. The small burst of power required comes from the battery in the camera. Since the image is barely processed at all, the little CPU built into the card can do all the work.
For those who want to carry a photo album in their wallet, a data card does the trick. This is flat, the same size as a credit card, and slightly fatter, to hold a battery and the usual processor/memory combo. Clip it to a viewcard and you have a slide show. Add the camera and you have a complete package. The camera, which holds a larger rechargeable battery, will itself charge the datacard.
Cost of the view cards: US$2.50. Cost of the camera: US$7.50. Cost of the data card: US$7.50.
Roll on 2010! My daughter will be seven and just learning how to write her first programs.