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Printer Hardware

New Details on Xerox Inkless Printer 198

Iddo Genuth writes "Xerox is developing a new printing technology which does not require ink of any kind. The new technology includes reusable paper which can be printed and erased dozens of times and has the potential to revolutionize printing. New details on this upcoming technology, which was first reported in September 2006, are now revealed."
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New Details on Xerox Inkless Printer

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  • by Anonymous Coward
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  • Fantastic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dbolger ( 161340 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:43PM (#18117320) Homepage
    There are very few stories on Slashdot (or, for that matter, anywhere), that actually make me say "wow", but this is definitely one. I work in an office where I have to use the printer a lot, but rarely for anything long term - printing a customer's emailed comments to show a manager who doesn't have our Kana email software in place etc. That's a tremendous waste of paper, as in most cases, the paper is crumpled up and in the (sometimes recycling, but usually not) bin within minutes of printing. If that paper was reusable to this extent, our paper usage would drop to a fraction of its current rate - saving us money and helping the environment in the process. You don't get much better than that :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      When I was working in the video game industry, Microsoft would release the new standards for the Xbox. Everyone who worked on an Xbox title would print the damn thing out. It wouldn't be unusual to go through three or four cases per printing cycle. It got less of a problem when the standards got updated less frequently. Re-usuable paper would work great in this environment.
    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      The implications might be greater than this, depending on how the paper is made. There has been increasing demand for reduction of waste and reduction of risk. For instance, I feel it is worth using the Tektronix solid ink technology, now xerox, due to the fact that is no cartridge to deal with. Likewise, on low volume duplicating machines, inks are soy based. one of the remaining issues are toner based machines. Toner is not cheap, and cartridges are becoming more complex and wasteful.

      if the paper i

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by SkaOMatic ( 771887 )
        The Tektronix/Xerox solid ink machines do a fantastic job. Print quality is excellent, and ink replacement a snap. The lack of plastic involved is great news for landfills.

        I do have to admit though, I really enjoy harassing my business partner about the solid ink. I refer to the blocks as "crayons" just because it drives him nuts. One time after he complained about ordering ink, I bought him a box of Crayolas. He was not pleased. I, of course, was. :D:D:D

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 )
      This will probably be the minority opinion, but I find the whole idea dead on arrival because, while the concept is cool, just isn't practical in the less organized offices.

      Namely, after one printing, how will you regather the paper in a nice stack, not crumpled, creased, or otherwise used looking besides the printing in an economical manner? I wouldn't count on people being nice and turning the paper back in pristine condition.

      This stuff seems to be only for inner office use, and for very organized ones a
  • as seen on... (Score:3, Informative)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:43PM (#18117324) Homepage
    This same type of tech is being integrated into cameras, by a company called zink [gizmodo.com]. It's just like the old polaroid days.
    • by Arivia ( 783328 )
      I did an internship in an archives earlier this year.

      During a part of this, I spent about a month describing and cataloging incoming photographs. About one half of that was devoted to the one tenth of the photographs that were Polaroids. Why? Because they have such a minute lifespan that on an archives' terms, this was the last chance anyone would get to look at them possibly. So, I had to describe, in minute detail, each one.

      The question is: is this paper going to be like a Polaroid? Sure it's convenient,
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by User 956 ( 568564 )
        The question is: is this paper going to be like a Polaroid? Sure it's convenient, but I'll take a bit of a hassle to make sure my materials are still there when I or my estate's executor or my children need to get at them; that my relics will remain.

        Then get an Epson photo printer [epson.com]. The prints are scratch/moisture resistant, and fade resistant for 200 years, or so they say. (I guess we'll find out in 200 years)
  • Good news, bad news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:44PM (#18117336)
    Doesn't need ink but it does cost $1 a sheet for the paper. Only half joking. If they keep the cost down to 2X or 3X the cost of standard paper it'd be extremely interesting. The problem has been they virtually give away printers then soak you for the ink. I find it hard to believe the printers would be a compriable price and the paper will be even cost to the price of even expensive paper. No more clogged ink jets would be a huge improvement on it's own. I've blown through $30 in ink trying to clear the a clogged ink cartridge.
    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@b ... u d s o n . c om> on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:53PM (#18117404) Journal

      "No more clogged ink jets would be a huge improvement on it's own. I've blown through $30 in ink trying to clear the a clogged ink cartridge."

      Why would you do that when laser printers are well under $100.00 and color lasers are under $200.00?

      • by garcia ( 6573 )
        Why would you do that when laser printers are well under $100.00 and color lasers are under $200.00?

        Because the toner is $120+ and while I don't know the usage patters of the parent, I wouldn't need to spend $220 on a printer when I print maybe 50 sheets of paper at home a year.
        • by anagama ( 611277 )
          If you only print 50 pages per year, the standard cartridge that comes with an el-cheapo laserjet would last about till retirement age. Think of that -- never buy ink/toner again. There was a time I went about 5 years without changing the cart in my HP Laserjet 4L. Toner doesn't go bad at the rate ink does. If you have spend $30/year unclogging your printer, you'll still save money with a laser jet.

          Plus when it comes toime to refill in case you ever do start printing more, you can try something like "t
          • You can generally refill a cartridge 3 times before the drum wears out.
            The last laser printer I bought, I selected specifically because (it had a LAN port and) did not need drum replacements -- so paper and the occasional toner is all that I need to feed it.
            • I hate to break it to you, but "not needing drum replacements" is most likely a euphemism for "having an integrated drum/toner cartridge, so replacing the toner means replacing the drum at the same time." Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, mind you -- my Brother HL-2070N is like that. But it's important to at least be aware of such things, you know?

              • by karnal ( 22275 )
                Exactly. I have the same printer, and I'm actually glad it's all in one kit. One less "specific" thing to worry about.

                To add: I REALLY REALLY don't miss having to refill ink cartridges. I can't believe I didn't buy an inexpensive laser printer sooner. It prints so much faster....
                • by anagama ( 611277 )
                  The printer I mention above also has an integrated drum/toner cart. I just punch a hole the toner area, fill it up, and then put in a plug. The hole punch is a soldering iron with an "O" shaped tip, and the plugs come with my toner order. It about 3.2 minutes to punch the hole (3 minutes to warm up, a few seconds to punch it, set down the iron, and unplug it) and of course, this need be done only once -- use the same hole in subsequent refills. It then takes a minute or two to refill the cart and replac
                  • by karnal ( 22275 )
                    Sweet; now I can just refill my cart :)

                    Refilling an Ink Cart requires (at least when I do it) that some ink leakage occurs and something gets ink on it; you have to handle the carts carefully and try not to over-fill. You also need to leave the air holes' passageways open, otherwise the cart won't work correctly.... probably took me on the order of 1/2 an hour to do a full color fill (probably about 13 minutes for black only) due to prep time and clean up afterwards.

                    The Laser printers (even ones with smal
        • Because the toner is $120+

          No, a toner/drum assembly is $120. Toner is significantly less than that if you buy from a company that separates the two.

          Spending $220 today can get you a networked, duplexing laser printer that will last your 50-sheet-a-year habit an amazing length of time. (20 years if nothing corrodes.)
          • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
            My Epson ActionLaser 1500 (hardly a high-end printer in its day, and bought as a refurb) is now 12 years old and is still on its original toner cart, with about 30% left to go. It's probably printed about 7000 pages, judging by how much I've used from of a case of paper of similar vintage. Still works fine, and has had zero maintenance.

            The replacement toner kit for this one *is* around $150, but it includes a fresh imaging unit. Even so, the cost of operation is a fraction of that for an inkjet.
        • "Because the toner is $120+ and while I don't know the usage patters of the parent, I wouldn't need to spend $220 on a printer when I print maybe 50 sheets of paper at home a year."

          I spent $250 on a laser printer several years ago. I'm still on the original toner cartridge. Funny thing about toner: it doesn't magically disappear when not in use like ink does.
      • by Rich0 ( 548339 )
        Gotta agree with you there. I bought a color laser last year for $300 shipped and haven't had to touch it since. Before I had to field calls all the time when the inkjet needed unclogging and it constantly needed new cartridges. Lasers just work, and you can't argue with that.

        Sure, toner is pricey, but so is ink. My printer costs 1.5 cents for black, and 4.5 cents for color per page. It would be hard to find an inkject that can beat those prices (and yes, that is for 5% coverage). For photos there is
    • Toss it and get new heads. They usually come with a full set of inks and rarely cost more than $10-$20 over that.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
      Paperwork shufflers rejoice. My favorite file used to be the WPB file (waste paper basket for all you youngsters). Now they want me to keep all those useless scraps of paper, news at eleven, filing cabinet companies stocks skyrocket.

      You want cheaper printing, just legislate refillable ink containers and open specs on the ink, just watch the cost or printing drop by a factor of ten.

      • by anagama ( 611277 )

        My favorite file used to be the WPB file (waste paper basket for all you youngsters).
        We just call that the "round file".
  • by miroth ( 611718 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:44PM (#18117338)
    An inkless printer will never be a viable profit-generating product unless it costs many, many thousands of dollars. Printer manufacturers make most of their money from consumables, and a printer which requires no consumables (even the paper is resuable) will never make it to market.
    • You're thinking in terms of very, very low-end consumer grade printers. This is the sort of thing that will appeal to business-class users, where copiers/printers are charged per per sheet (click), on top of a lease/usage contract. (Toner is usually provided free of charge in such contracts, anyway..it's built into the click charge.)
      • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
        Correction: The GP is thinking in terms of printer manufacturers. Xerox also makes the paper.
    • Not true. Refrigerators don't break. Companies still sell millions of them per year. CRT TVs don't break either and when last have you broken a hammer?
      • by Tim C ( 15259 )
        My parent's TV died at the ripe old age of 21. A TV I bought a few years ago developed colour issues and had to be replaced (fortunately under warranty). I've seen fridges break, and I have personally broken a hammer in normal usage conditions (it was a small hammer and a big job).

        Your assertion that fridges don't break is actually laughable, as they contain moving parts. Moving parts means frictional wear, which means eventual breakage.
    • If anyone knows how to market hideously expensive printers it is Xerox.
    • Don't worry, the sales of the necessary special patented reusable paper will make up for the fact that Xerox won't be selling you any ink for these printers. And it's not like your entire office will be able to get away with a single purchase of, say, 1000 pages of this stuff per employee. Some of it will be mailed away to clients and other 3rd parties, much of it will be deliberately mutilated (such as by having holes punched in it), and even more will disappear into company archives. It's also possible th
  • Next up... (Score:5, Funny)

    by rob1980 ( 941751 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:45PM (#18117342)
    Wireless wire, cordless power strips.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:46PM (#18117348)
    How many of you have tried to conserve paper by manually duplexing on a low-end printer (at home say) and found that just flipping the page over carefully is enough to cause the paper to jam.

    How are Xerox planning on coping with dog-earing, tearing, scuffing and otherwise deformed paper?
    • >>> How are Xerox planning on coping with dog-earing, tearing, scuffing and otherwise deformed paper?

      My thoughts exactly.

      I also expect a few patents on the paper itself, and it'll cost a pretty penny.

      Sales pitches will be based on saving a few dollars if you recycle 90% of your paper, but we all know you'd be lucky if 50% of it gets reused.

      It'll be the old case of 'looks cheaper on paper' but ultimately costs more than all the ink in India.
      • It'll be the old case of 'looks cheaper on paper' but ultimately costs more than all the ink in India.

        Very punny!
    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
      Occurs to me that one solution might be a pre-processing unit built into the printer, which proceeds to pressure-roll the paper into compliance with what the printer's paper path expects.

      Or maybe they've been selling us shitty paper paths on purpose, and the only real difference here is that this printer will finally have a GOOD paper path. ;)

      • by Macgrrl ( 762836 )

        Paper paths are determines by a number of factors, firstly - the more trays a printer has, the more places it has to be able to pick the paper up from. While logically it would be possible to move the paper trays to allow a straight through paper path from any tray - it would require a lot of space and would be a large moving assembly that would jam if it got even a fraction out of alignment.

        The less turns, the least number of moving components and the shortest path generally gives you the least misfeeds.

  • Better idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zymano ( 581466 )
    If there were an OPEN SOURCE type printer without all constricting licensing crap.

    We could use cheap ink. It would be AMAZING. You could print out photographic posters for cents.

    You could redecorate your house with your own designs or photos like wallpaper.

    A lucrative idea out there. Just remember you heard it here.
    • If there were an OPEN SOURCE type printer without all constricting licensing crap.

      You mean like hpijs/hplip [sourceforge.net]? (Funded by HP).

      We could use cheap ink. It would be AMAZING. You could print out photographic posters for cents. You could redecorate your house with your own designs or photos like wallpaper.

      The ink is expensive because HP/Canon/Whoever spent lots of money developing inks that work well with the paper you print on (and because it's high quality). You can buy cheap/crappy ink, but it's not going to

      • I think he was referring to open ink cartridges. You could just pour ink in a hole in the top of the printer or something.

        As good as HP ink might be, it's not $2000/gallon good.
  • No cost for ink!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:47PM (#18117358) Homepage
    Problem is the paper costs $45.95 per sheet quits working if it get's treated like a normal piece of paper.

    I see Proud IT managers showing off this new tech and then screaming in pain as the Director of sales grabs it folds it in half and staples it.

    If they get the cost of the paper to only 2x the cost of normal paper they may MAY have a chance. but right now laser printers and cheap copy paper is incredibly cheap.
  • I can hardly wait! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:47PM (#18117366)
    As if the $2000 per gallon of ink wasn't enough, now we'll have $300 sheets of paper...
    • by dbolger ( 161340 )
      It really depends on the durability. I'd buy an incredibly expensive sheet of paper if it meant I wouldn't need to buy another sheet ever again.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by sa1lnr ( 669048 )
      "now we'll have $300 sheets of paper..."

      Yep, we are going to get reamed on that.
  • Editors why did this get posted? There's not a single primary or even secondary link in that summary. Besides that, his blog is now slashdoted, so we can't even check to see if that has any primary sources. Note to the submitter, don't do this anymore. I don't mind people linking to their blogs in a passive way, but include some sources in your stories, please.
  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) * on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:50PM (#18117378) Homepage
    I seem to recall reading an article like this on Slashdot back in '42. Xerox patented this technology called "dry printing" (xeros graphos in Greek) that didn't use ink, but a material known as "toner".

    (Yes, I do hate it when people refer to toner and ink interchangeably as "ink"; why do you ask?)
  • Problems this probably would have:
    • Paper jams. Paper definitely doesn't come out exactly the same way it went in, and any handling of the output will probably make a jam a lot more likely.
    • Paper will probably cost an arm and a leg, so it would nullify savings anyway. This is a niche application, while normal paper is in really massive production.
    • Fading output is nasty - I really hate the thermal ticket paper that eventually fades so much as to render the output unreadable. I bet the shops love the reduced amo
  • Here's the patent. (Score:5, Informative)

    by zymano ( 581466 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:53PM (#18117400)
  • by tktk ( 540564 )
    And how much is the reusable paper going to cost? It'd better close to the cost of ink + paper or else no one's going to buy it.
  • Article text (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 22, 2007 @09:54PM (#18117410)
    Xerox Inkless Printer
    Written by Iddo Genuth Thursday, 15 February 2007

    Xerox is developing a new printing technology which does not require ink of any kind. The new technology includes reusable paper which can be printed and erased dozens of times and has the potential to revolutionize printing. Although the technology is still in the early stages of development, it has the potential to cut printing costs and reduce office paper usage dramatically. New details on this upcoming technology are revealed here for the first time.

    The dream of the paperless office

    One of the earliest articles discussing the topic of the paperless office was "the Office of the Future" published in the June 1975 issue of Business Week. The idea, bandied about many times since, was the elimination of most or all paper which has been piling around in our offices in the last several decades.
    The personal computer revolution of the 1980s brought with it the hope of the paperless office as there was a shift from the old-fashioned typewriters to viewing and editing documents on computer screens. But this dream vanished quickly as people realized that their monochromatic cathode ray tube (CRT) displays were uncomfortable to watch for long periods of time. Aggravating the problem was the introduction of the low-cost office printer, capable of making dozens of copies of each document (an ability which was limited until that time to large and expensive photocopying machines).
    Book on an LCD-difficult to read Book on an LCD-difficult to read
    As years passed by it seemed that the introduction of the personal computer not only did not reduce the amount of paper produced in our offices, it actually increased it.
    The widespread adoption of liquid crystal display (LCD) technology in recent years made some people hopeful again for at least some reduction in office paper production, but although LCD might be somewhat more comfortable to watch than the older CRT screens, most people still find it difficult to read long documents on the computer screen; and in most cases anything above one or two pages will get printed at least once.
    The old/new hope of electronic paper

    In the 1970s, Xeroxs Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was a powerhouse of innovation. Many aspects of what we now see as the modern computer, namely the mouse, the laser printer, the Ethernet, GUI, computer-generated color graphics, as well as a number of important computer languages, were invented at PARC around that time. The development of the Gyricon, which was nearly lost among all those important breakthroughs, was originally invented in 1974 by PARC employee Nicholas K. Sheridon as a new display technology for the company ALTO personal computer. Eventually, the Gyricon (a Greek term meaning rotating image) turned out to be the basis for modern e-paper technology.

    Electronic paper (e-paper) is the name given to several distinctly different technologies (to be covered in depth by a forthcoming TFOT article) which are capable of displaying text, images and in the case of some e-paper technologies, video, on a thin (occasionally flexible) sheet of plastic. In many respects e-paper is more similar to a digital display than to paper. E-paper displays can change the image at a press of a button, store countless articles or books and can even be made interactive allowing a user to add content, search and perform other operations. The important advantage of e-paper over conventional screen technology is its readability. Unlike conventional screen technology, e-paper doesn't emit light on its own; rather, it uses the ambient light to reflect the text just like ordinary paper. E-paper has the potential to eliminate paper usage in future offices but it remains to be seen whether it will be successful where so many previous technologies have failed.
    Commercial e-paper technology is finally starting to appear on the market but it will take seve
  • Arthur Anderson auditing firm and Enron would have loved this technology. Dont shred incriminating documents, just erase and reprint innocuous shipping vouchers on them and say, "Gee! we were just saving money, cutting down on printing costs, We would have never intentionally destroyed evidence wink wink"
  • by abes ( 82351 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @10:01PM (#18117468) Homepage
    I think this is a great idea. Except for the fact that I almost only print things out so I can write on them. If I didn't need to write on the paper, I probably would just read it from the screen. Occasionally I'll print out a map or a list to take with me, but then it gets put in my pocket and ultimately ends up torn, scrunched, and not so reusable.

    So while I'm sure the Earth applauds this invention, I'm not quite sure for whom or understand what circumstances its useful. I also wonder how resusability is there. They claim 50 reprints, but I wonder if the image quality is as good by the 20th time as the first. Also, it apparently fades within a day.

    It's not that I think the technology is useless, just limited.
    • by zsau ( 266209 )
      Umm... It writes on the paper by exposing it to a certain wavelength of light. I would think it would be pretty trivial to design a laserpen that emits that wavelength. It'd be a bit funny to use, but so much more convenient than a mouse, touchpad, touchscreen or graphics tablet.
    • Agreed. I think the whole point of using paper nowadays is that it's disposable, so you don't have to worry about it. For example, the idea of newspapers downloaded onto an e-paper came up few years ago. Imagine the amount of fingerprints, coffee stains etc. accumulated on the paper over a year or so.

  • So what? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Thezez ( 1067072 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @10:05PM (#18117506)
    I'm wearing fabricless underwear
  • ... feed the printer a whiteboard-type thing that you can write on and which can be erased easily. More durable than regular paper anyway.
  • jamming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @10:13PM (#18117596)

    The new technology includes reusable paper which can be printed and erased dozens of times and has the potential to revolutionize printing

    I spent several hellish months working at an advertising company with a boatload of medium-sized digital copiers, some b&w, some color. All were made by Xerox. Guess what they were doing, almost constantly? Jamming. Xerox liked to blame our paper, claiming it wasn't "consistent enough", and the magical solution was to buy Xerox paper. We refused, and simply pestered the shit out of their support people (fixed price support contract), calling them every time a printer started jamming regularly, if they were not on-site already to fix one of the other printers (they broke/crashed regularly.)

    How is this relevant, you wonder? Well, the first lesson with laser printers is to never re-use paper in any laser printer. The slightest dirt scratches the imaging drum, a crease or wrinkle causes a misfeed or jam, and so on; you don't want to know how much damage a single paper clip can cause in a 35-40ppm digital copier, either. Inkjets are fine in this regard, but the complex paper feeding mechanisms in laser printers/copiers don't really like anything but pristine paper. The slightest thing like, say, the rubber on pickup/feed rollers getting a little too hard with age or less sticky and....

    Oh, and the high-speed (20+PPM) printers have to slow down as the paper gets thicker. Dramatically. This fancy paper is probably thicker.

    If they can't build a printer that can handle "fresh out of the box" copier paper, how do they expect to be able to handle paper that's been even *slightly* used once, much less five times? Other problems: staples; people who want to write on pieces of paper; finger oil/coffee spills. Etc. Now you have to stock two kinds of paper, your printer has half the effective paper capacity since it now stores two types, and users have to decide on usage prior to printing ("do I want to save this for more than 16 hours? Do I want to write on it?"), have the proper drivers installed, etc. I had enough trouble getting people to print duplex to save paper- and most of the time, people didn't bother to set up the proper printer driver, or even call us to do so.

    PS:Despite the issues with newer (last 2-3 years) Xerox printers, where the profit seems to come from service contracts- if you have lots of little personal-sized printers, do yourself a favor and replace them with a MUCH smaller quantity of small/medium-size workgroup network printers. The supplies are cheaper per page and you'll have to stock fewer *kinds* of supplies as well, the supplies (like drums/toner cartridges) last longer, they're designed to be more serviceable, they're usually faster...and they're not built-to-a-price as badly as the "personal" units (HP 1100, anyone? :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drix ( 4602 )
      I love how the default reaction of /. to someone who thought of something that /. didn't is a mad rush to come up with some trivial, glaringly obvious nitpick that's primed to bring the whole house of cards tumbling down. As if Xerox simply put 700 monkeys in a gymnasium and somebody peeked in one morning to discover that they'd just happened to invent a new, revolutionary way to print things.

      I mean .. these people have PhDs for crying out loud. If Xerox designed a whole entire technology around reusable, r
  • This fits into a category of "that would be cool, but I can't buy it yet so why should I care?". I just can't think of a way to put that in a one-word tag or even a two-word jumble tag. I was thinking RSN (for Real Soon Now) but that could apply to other things besides products we can't buy yet. Tagging it vaporware is a bit too pejorative; they aren't all vaporware. That would be a separate tag. "Cantbuyityet" is short, but it's much too jumbly, even considering the tendancy for tags to be jumbly anyw

  • by jemenake ( 595948 ) on Thursday February 22, 2007 @10:23PM (#18117668)

    The new technology includes reusable paper which can be printed and erased dozens of times...
    Coming soon to your local office-supply store... 8.5x11 and A4 paper will now be labeled "8.5x11-R" and "A4-R" in preparation for the arrival of "8.5x11-RW" and "A4-RW". In a related story, Sony announced today their competing "8.5x11+RW" and "A4+RW" formats.
  • Toys! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Diordna ( 815458 )
    One could make a killing selling this paper with a sort of light pen and light eraser. Just like a pencil, but without the erasor shreddings.
  • The picture in the article looks like the ink is barely readable, except for printing large logos. Or am I missing something?

  • Mine doesn't require ink either. But the fainting spells I go through when trying to print 100 page documents with my blood are a bit of a drag.
  • The only possible benefit of not requiring ink is the implied savings in not having to pay a hojillion billion dollars per picaliter of the stuff. So now we have a printer that requires no ink, but only works on proprietary paper. Wonder how much that's gonna cost.

    Even if it is reusable, how often do you plan to print something on a piece of paper that's been handed around, smudged, creased, and sneezed on, over and over again? These days, the only things I see printed are documents that are meant to be a b
  • Ya and CD-RWs really caught on too.
  • don't like the original terms? erase it and start over, good thing the original signatures are still there!
    • This is my thought, and greatest fear, as well. You 'sign' a contract on this fancy paper, which most people probably will not recognize as being r/w, and then an unscrupulous operator changes the terms of the contract sometime later.

      No thank you.
  • by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Friday February 23, 2007 @12:41AM (#18118660) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me a two-wavelength laser pointer could serve as both "pen" and "eraser", so that you could mark up documents without damaging the paper. Many times I have to print a draft of a letter or presentation and run it by the executive, who will probably mark it up with handwritten corrections and send it back to me. They have every right to edit something they have to sign or say until they're happy with it, but it does waste a lot of paper. If I could substitute erasable paper for each proofing stage, it would probably cut out 2/3 or 3/4 of my paper use, but in order to do so, it needs to be human-writable and not just printable.

    Hopefully this erasable paper can be photocopied without making it fade. That would solve a lot of the problems caused by fading over time. If you find you want to keep something you wrote on erasable paper, just pop it in the copy machine and it's now on permanent paper.

    If Xerox does get it to work in color, it could be a great way to proof document formatting as well. There are things I just can't spot without actually printing a document, such as whether a shading makes text within it illegible. If the document is important enough for me to polish up and proof thoroughly, it's probably going to be in color. It doesn't have to be perfect color, just "business color".

  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Friday February 23, 2007 @01:11AM (#18118848) Journal
    This reusable paper has some uses but I think it's overrated. If I'm going to print something out it's usually so I can give someone a copy. I hardly ever print stuff out otherwise. You think I'm going to give 100 pages of expensive reusable paper to someone, just because they don't want to read the doc on screen, or I can't hand them the "electronic" version?

    What people should work on is a cheap (energy+resources), nontoxic and safe way of producing paper from renewable trees/plants.

    Then when you see people who are accumulating stacks of paper, you can thank them for helping to keep CO2 out of the air.

  • by P3NIS_CLEAVER ( 860022 ) on Friday February 23, 2007 @01:16AM (#18118884) Journal
    The really significant thing would be if laser printers could create continuous tone images with this paper. This would be a huge breakthrough.
  • I think this is mislabeled as inkless printer and should be labeled something like "reusable paper printer".

    This concept is fairly similar to the thermal printers which also require special paper. The images on them do wear off after a period of time as well. Have you ever pulled out your best buy four-year extended warranty, with attached receipt, only to notice the receipt is completely blank? I think most warranties will cover the item without the receipt if it has, and they have recorded, a serial num
  • I dunno. I work in an office where they have big containers for dumping in used paper, to be discarded securely. But the info is still probably on the paper when it gets picked up, and anyway are sure it is completely gone? And what about cold temperatures, maybe it lasts longer etc. It seems like a pain in the butt, why not just recycle paper is what people will think. We may have a bunch of printers all around but there will inevitably be people who hav accidents with paper that fades inappropriately, in
  • Now look, I know there are some very smart people over at Xerox. But there is a very long list of reasons why this is yet another invention destined to fall by the wayside.

    The most important reason is that the wonderful thing about paper is its malleability. You can fold it, you can tear it into strips, you can crumple it up in a ball. People will do all of these things, with the possible exception of the latter. The paper is specifically designed to be very similar to ordinary paper, so in an office wh

  • There was a paper that didn't require ink. The old fax machine used spools of this paper called "fax paper" which was a paper that didn't require ink. The fax machine used heat to create an image. I think some checkout printers use this paper as well.

    It could erase too just leave in the sun.. (I had a receipt go blank on me because it was in the sun too long). Of course not reusable.

    In general, people just want to be able to use plain paper with their printers.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.