Technology: The Tiniest Tape Ever

The Tiniest Tape Ever

In the 1950s tape recorders were cumbersome contraptions that weighed 20 pounds and used seven-inch tape reels. But in a field where smaller is usually better, tapes have steadily declined in size. Last week Dictaphone introduced the smallest yet: an office dictating system with a hand-held unit about the size of a pack of 100-mm cigarettes and a tape cassette hardly bigger than a commemorative postage stamp. The Picocassette, as it is called, weighs three grams and can hold 60 minutes of dictation on a tape that moves a glacial nine-tenths of a centimeter per second. The tape is about one-fourteenth...