The future, reusable paper

The future, reusable paper

Summary: At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Las Vegas, Steve Hoover, vice president with Xerox Research Center Webster, shows off a technology being developed in the company's labs that enables people to reuse a piece of paper. The paper contains a photochromic compound that makes ink disappear when hit by direct heat.

TOPICS: Mobility

Topic: Mobility

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  • Reusable Paper

    Reusable paper is a technology long overdue. Let's save the trees and the large amounts of energy that manufacturing gobbles up.
  • RE: The future, reusable paper

    I see many uses for this technique.

    New subject: The other day I heard a guy on the weather channel say that one tree can be spared by recycling a three-foot stack of newspapers. Apparently many ill-informed people have bought into the myth that trees are spared as paper is recycled. The trees that are used for newsprint are grown specifically for that purpose. As less newsprint is used, fewer pulpwood trees are planted. In know because I grow pulpwood trees (loblolly pine).
    Energy is saved by recycling newsprint, so I'm all for the recycling, but recycling paper does not save trees.
    Non Compos Mentis
  • RE: The future, reusable paper

    If the cost of the copiers/printers and paper and "ink" is competitive with the current costs, this would be great. However, we all know Xerox is in business to make money and following past trends (i.e. the Xerox Phaser) the cost of their copiers, ink, maintenance kits, etc. is so much higher that paper is such a tiny part of the overall costs. Yes, going green is good, but at a lesser cost not greater one would be fantastic.
  • Costs vs costs

    First of all, I hope that the demonstrator did not do any permanent eye damage staring into a UV light source.

    A few things that come to mind:
    I'd better use a high tech paper clip or binder, because it wouldn't take to standard paper clips to make this paper bind and even less staples.

    The heat source required to "erase" the paper; can this be any more efficient as the fuser in a copier or laser printer.

    I print on paper it is usually for notations or comparision, quite often I use a highlighter. Am I out of the norm, or is this something that is going to have it's nitch?
    As a side thought to this, how energy will be consumed using light pens?

    Will the paper come in white?

    I'm waiting for my polarized paper. The technology appeared shortly in electronic book readers, but these are still pricey and don't appear to widely in use. When this technology was introduced, it was going to be so cheap, that store price signs were going to using it.
    • Wow. Sorry for the missing words

      Truely wish they would allow editing of posts.

      1) It should be too many paper clips..
      2)When I print on paper..
      3).., how much energy..
  • This is a Joke - How do I make money building these?

    No [existing] printer company is going to support this. They all make their money on the toner, ink, drums, etc. If I understand this correctly there would be virtually NO consumables. Maybe a new box of paper now and then but the paper gets reused too.

    Sounds great for the consumer, great for the environment, but someone still has to build and sell the things. Are we going to want to pay $10,000 for one of these even after the market matures? They do not seem like something that could start out replacing the huge thing we might have in a copy center either.

    and... Wasn't IBM supposed to have cheap, flexible, color displays produced using existing laminating technology that is used to make potato chip bags by now?
    • I don't think this IS a joke...

      "No [existing] printer company is going to support this. They all make their money on the toner, ink, drums, etc. If I understand this correctly there would be virtually NO consumables. Maybe a new box of paper now and then but the paper gets reused too."

      Isn't that sort of like saying that no big camera company is going to support making digital cameras because then there wouldn't be any consumables, and even the memory chip used to store the photos could be manufactured by someone else? CLEARLY people will jump on the idea of re-usable paper and the printers that go with it IF IT'S PRICED RIGHT. Furthermore, this is not an all or nothing deal: standard paper and printers aren't going to have to disappear for this to work. In fact (and again depending on price) companies could easily phase out some of their standard printers for the new re-usable paper printers to give employees a choice about printing "permanently" or "re-usably".
    • It's Not Necessarily A Joke.

      Like no-one will buy an expensive TV instead of going to the cinema or listening to the radio?

      Where did you get the $10,000 figure from? Assuming it's true, how long does it take for an average company to spend $10,000 on a printer/ copier/ FAX, including paper?

      Xerox make printers and photocopiers too remember.

      Yes, it might go nowhere. I'd like to see an energy balance equation comparing the "well to wheel" energy costs of producing a piece of the stuff vs ordinary paper, and another equation quantifying the energy costs of using said paper a second time.

      This stuff might have an EROI as bad as corn for ethanol.

      Have you been watching the price of petrol increase in your country, and not once think about how this might be a clue that cheap energy has gone away for a long time now?
      Beast Of Bodmin
  • RE: The future, reusable paper

    What we need is computerized paper that will display whatever is loaded onto it. Imagine a single sheet of newsprint that can hold the whole Sunday Times, or a bound book that can be loaded with any literary content. Then have a pen that records your output directly on the "paper" via the built-in chip. It can be saved and/or overloaded with new content easily, limited only by the memory capability of the paper.
    Elwood Diverse
  • RE: The future, reusable paper (sounds klunky and expensive)

    I agree that "paper" that actually would be a type of rewriteable LCD/OLED/LED would be more practical than sheets of paper to put in a printer.

    As far as sheets of paper are concerned, why not go back to the old "biblical scroll" system where the "printed" material would be on a double-scroll which would be unrolled like we scroll on our display in order to read it.

    It would have to be flexible, and preferably would reproduce color as well as black/white.

    From what i saw of this invention, the paper itself is a rather unattractive yellow, the image left by the UV led was blueish. I don't think that an office would want to reinvest in special printers and paper which would probably cost far more than current paper and would not be able to reproduce colors.

    Years ago, i paid $800.00 for a printer that used rolls of heat sensitive paper in a dot matrix array. Over time the paper would darken. It always had a funny feel and didn't reproduce very well.

    The reuseable sheets described sound like a throwback to the old days.

    Regards: General Ludd (a real old throwbac)
    General Ludd
  • RE: The future, reusable paper

    This is a great example of the use of the TRIZ problem solving principle of "separation upon condition" where a system or product changes its behavior or properties in response to a change in force or condition