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A Gigabyte on Your Wrist

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, November 18, 1998

What if you could store gigabytes worth of information in a device the size of your watch? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. At the IBM research lab in Zurich, scientists are working on something called Millipede technology. Nobel Laureate and IBM Fellow Gerd Binnig says the idea is to have thousands or even millions of microscopic tips working in tandem to read and write data on very tiny surfaces....

"In a watch you might have one or even up to ten gigabytes stored and on an ordinary laptop you might store one or ten terrabytes."

Why would you need that kind of capacity? Binnig says the computers we'll use in the future aren't anything like the ones we use today...

"In the future we just talk to computers and make gestures and something like that, and we have tiny, little devices which we wear on the body or maybe even the watch is a very intelligent device and we communicate just by speech or so with these little devices and they help us in our daily life. And they even communicate with each other, not just with you."

. IBM and others are working on small, wearable computers already. Senior engineer Russell Budd has a prototype they call, for the time being...a PC Walkman....

"Smallest Windows 98 computer in the world. Full function.

The name will change, but you could see it on the market within a year.