intellipaper Promises to Digitize the World of Paper


Imagine being able to hand someone a business card that has all the contact information and supporting documents you’d like someone you’re hoping to do business with to have. What if you were able to rip off a piece of that business card and insert it into your USB drive to get immediate access to digital versions of the content on the card? Business cards with embedded NFC chips are a great resource, but what happens if you want to put more than a handful of words or a URL on the card?

Enter intellipaper, a paper product that doubles as a USB flash drive complete with a FAT32 file system and enough storage space for a few small files, and perhaps a webpage or two.

What lies behind intellipaper’s clever design is a very small set of electrical components including a very tiny piece of silicon that sits between multiple layers of thick paper. Perforated lines in intellipaper products allow you to tear away the USB portion of the product, fold it, and insert it into any USB port.

You can also opt to purchase a special reader (called the iO30) that allows you to insert intellipaper cards and products without having to separate the electronic bits from the rest of the card. The reader itself is very solid, and much heavier than it looks. I’d wager it would survive a few rounds as the hockey puck for the Waco Wizards, but it does an excellent job of simply making intellipaper work in situations where you don’t necessarily want to rip anything apart. In addition, this $69 reader will enable you to program intellipaper units on the fly to keep them updated with any new information you might want to embed.


With intellipaper, your business card becomes a USB flash drive, but this product isn’t just limited to cards. You can have intellipaper chips embedded in event tickets, greeting cards, business reply letters, magazine inserts, brochures, trade show handouts, and virtually anything else you might hand someone that could warrant digitized information.

intellipaper’s real strength may be found in mailed advertising. Promising people a special exclusive discount and/or drawing their attention with the novelty of inserting a piece of paper into their USB drive and having files appear on their computer is an interesting draw. It gives you more flexibility than a QR code.

The downside at this point is the cost of entry. With minimum orders of 6,000 business cards at $0.50 a piece, this isn’t a product that’s set to take the world by storm just yet.

If you’re interested in finding out more about intellipaper (and perhaps getting a deal), there is a Kickstarter project set to go live later this week which will help the company come up with the next generation of intellipaper products.

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