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New way to save energy: Disappearing ink
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 29 April 2008 12:04

 Think of it as the future of today's paper.

April 29, 2008 4:00 AM PDT
Posted by Michael Kanellos
The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and parent company Xerox are experimenting with a type of paper and a complimentary printer that would produce documents that fade away after 16 to 24 hours. A restaurant, for instance, could print its daily specials on a piece of paper, attach the pieces of paper to menus, and then collect the sheets of then-blank paper in the morning to run through the printer again.

How does it work? The paper is coated with photosensitive chemicals that turn dark when hit with UV light.

Users don't have to wait for the paper to fade either. By running it through the special printer made for this paper, the printer will erase the old image before putting the new one on.

The paper and printer could hit the market in a few years.

The same sheets of paper can be run through the printer hundreds of time, according to tests conducted by Xerox, said Eric Shrader, area manager, energy systems, device hardware laboratory at Xerox. Typically, the paper isn't reusable only when it gets damaged or crumpled.

The idea is to cut the amount of energy consumed in making paper and printing. Like refurbished PC makers have noted, reusing an item consumes a lot less power than making a new one, or even recycling one.  [C/Net News...]  [Comments...]

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