CDs and DVDs have been around for a while, nevertheless, American-Israeli company Aladdin think it can breathe new life into these formats by creating a disc that combines optical storage capacity with an embedded electronic smart card chip.
The irregularly-shaped “XCD” is the thickness of a normal optical disc and can still play in any CD or DVD drive. But it also has a smart card, with its own memory and processing components, embedded in the plastic. The embedded chip is connected to a line of electrodes on the surface of one side of the disc. The outer edge of the disc is cut away so that the electrodes protrude and can plug straight into a USB socket.
But why bother inserting a chip into a DVD or CD in the first place? Aladdin thinks it could provide a clever way to digitally lock content sold on optical discs. Music, video or data can be stored optically and read by computer’s CD or DVD player, while encryption keys can be stored on the embedded chip and read by USB. The encryption keys could be used to lock information so that it can only be played having plugged the original disc in to the USB.