fermion writes "Xerox is reported to be working on some interesting forms of digital paper. The New York Times reports a 16 hour reusable paper. This system uses a coated paper and special ink to produce a copy that will fade over 16 hours, or sooner if the paper is put back in the copy tray. It can then be reused for a new copy, up to 10 times. According to the article, the rational for this is that paper is no longer used to store information, but merely to temporarily display it. The research suggest that in the typical office many copies end up in the recycle bin by the end of the day. The main obstacle to commercialization seems to be the question of whether people need this product. Will people have digital displays that will take the place of paper? Will something radically different from plain paper, but with competitive costs and characteristics, become popular? Xerox itself is working on something called gyricon, a system of tiny bichromal beads encased between sheets of plastics. Evidently the beads can be set electrically to either reflect of absorb light, thus allowing images to be generated at will. According to the page, the images can be set by a printer or a hand held wand. The 'paper' could even be combined with electronics to create a flexible display. So, /., where is our display technology headed? Coated conventional paper? Plastic reprintable paper? Glasses with heads up displays and wireless data feed?"
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