If you have read Alblacka’s blog recently then you would know that Alblacka is working on an IC computer. My proposal would be to have a special chest that could tell a computer what it contains in real time. The main purpose of the chest would be a way to remotely monitor what your miners are digging up, although it could have a plethora of uses when combined with BuildCraft. I don’t think it would very hard to code, but since I know next to nothing about computer coding my thoughts don’t mean much here.
This is the way I see the computer side of the chest working but if anybody has a better idea, please feel free to post it in the comments section. The first page on the program would list a bunch of links to the different chests connected to the computer. When one clicks on a link what would appear is a table describing the contents of the chest. The rows of the table would list slot numbers whereas the columns would list the Item ID, damage value, and the Item/Block count. Later on people might be able to write simple programs that could search for certain blocks/items all-throughout the chests and give you a total count.
The GUI of the chest would have to be changed to include a number superimposed numbers in the back of each slot.