It was intended as a joke when Zoolander used a tiny smartphone “of the future,” but the reality is that technology is, indeed, shrinking at an astounding rate. Sometimes it disappears all together, as with cloud technology.
At other times it’s so minute that it’s begging to get lost. Falling through the cracks is a very real possibility with some technology, and it’s time to take action.
There are already several concrete and marketing-heavy solutions, such as the business card-cum-USB that’s become prime PR swag. It prevents the otherwise easy loss of those smaller memory sticks while doubling as an advertising platform.
Perhaps some of these other Lilliputian alternatives could learn a trick or two from USB cards. Otherwise, their markets might give up due to frequent losses.
1. No-name computer prototype
Since it’s “just” a prototype, it wasn’t given a moniker, but the creation of the world’s smallest computer (the size of the “N” on your penny) is making big waves. Dubbed the computer of the future, it’s actually an implant for glaucoma patients.
That would make it impossible to lose, but some people are now touting millimeter-sized computers as potentially useful for non-implants. But that raises the question: Would you spend thousands on something you could barely see, but needed to carry?
2. New Kube
The smallest mp3 player in the world, this one’s about the size of a single die in a craps game and holds around 8,000 songs. It’s cute, which means it’s a hit at tech shows.
But for people who regularly have to replace their iPod, is it smart to go smaller? Maybe with the constantly tangled earbuds, it’ll be easier to keep track of than we think.
3. Hidden web cams
Several have boasted that they are the smallest. For the most part these web cams are also cameras that can rest easily on your fingertip.
The quality varies dramatically, and of course you get what you pay for. While it makes sense to tuck a web cam into a larger item, such as a teddy bear, some people are using tiny cameras as, well, cameras.
At this size it’s an easy-to-lose item, especially when you’re traveling, and it may not be easy to replace on the road.
4. The Babol Noshirvani University of Technology microphone
This institution in Iran has created a prototype microphone that can barely be seen by the naked eye. (Could we call it a microminiphone?) This would be great for famous singers to use in concert if they want to avoid clunky alternatives, but otherwise it’s going to be way too easy to misplace.