Xerox Corporation scientists have invented a way to make prints whose images last only a day, so that the paper can be used again and again.
The technology, which is still in a preliminary state, blurs the line between paper documents and digital displays and could ultimately lead to a significant reduction in paper use.
The experimental printing technology, a collaboration between the Xerox Research Centre of Canada and PARC (Palo Alto Research Center Inc.), could someday replace printed pages that are used for just a brief time before being discarded. Xerox estimates that as many as two out of every five pages printed in the office are for what it calls “daily” use, like e-mails, Web pages and reference materials that have been printed for a single viewing.
“Despite our reliance on computers to share and process information, there is still a strong dependence on the printed page for reading and absorbing content. Of course, we’d all like to use less paper, but we know from talking with customers that many people still prefer to work with information on paper. Self-erasing documents for short-term use offers the best of both worlds,” said Paul Smith, manager of XRCC’s new materials design and synthesis lab.
Xerox has filed for patents on the technology, which it calls “erasable paper.” It is currently part of a laboratory project that focuses on the concept of future dynamic documents.
Source: Xerox press release