Do you have tons of flash drives scattered about? You’ll have noticed that USB drives are now fairly ubiquitous. But now intelliPaper has developed a disposable drive that you simply use and then throw away! That ought to cut back on that pile of drives with who knows what on them.

How does it work? A silicon chip is imbedded in ordinary paper and wallah, an instant thumb drive! It’s not the first time this idea has been explored, but it seems that it’s finally been perfected for use.

The drives come in a sheet – you simply tear one off at the perforated lines, fold it, insert it, and start copying data. They can even be reused, at least until the contacts fail.

The paper is about as thick as a greeting or business card, and current versions hold anywhere from 8 to 32MB of data, so while the developers haven’t picked a final number for mass production yet, it will be likely to be somewhere between those two sizes when the final product is developed.

Another great perk if you have a tablet or smart phone that uses Near Field Communication is that you can connect wirelessly without risking damage to the fragile paper drive. This is perfect for devices that don’t have external storage, or for when you don’t have a USB data connector.

Just think of all the applications of these cheap thumb drives. Do you want to give a friend some pictures from your trip? Do you need to pass along a bunch of documents? With the low cost of these drives, you can simply load one up and give it away – there’s no need to remember who has your good flash drive.

Due to lack of funding it may be a little while before these start popping up everywhere, but you can expect to see intelliPaper in a line of greeting cards as early as this summer.