Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) is unveiling its erasable paper to the public for the first time this week.
The erasable paper is coated with chemicals that react to light of a specific wavelength. When the paper is exposed to that wavelength, it creates visible text on the page. Within 24 hours, the paper erases itself and can be used again--good news in offices where 40% of all printouts are discarded the day they are printed.
The technology will be featured this weekend at the WIRED NextFest, a showcase of global innovations.
Xerox also will display other breakthroughs the company says could minimize environmental impact, including a printing technology that reduces waste by 90% and low-cost water purification that uses less energy than conventional methods.
"Xerox has a heritage of discoveries that changed how people interact with information and how businesses communicate," said Sophie Vandebroek, chief technology officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group. "At WIRED NextFest we are revealing advances that you might not have expected from Xerox--technologies that not only help our customers, but will help the world become more sustainable."
Xerox's unique solid ink technology is based on colored ink sticks that melt and become liquid inside a printer. In a single, efficient pass, images are printed on a rotating drum and offset onto paper, producing an average of 90% less waste than a comparable laser printer.
The new Spiral Water Filtration purification technology was developed using the company's expertise in manipulating toner particles for printers at the Palo Alto Research Center, a Xerox company. It uses centrifugal force to filter out particles as small as five microns, reducing the land, chemicals and energy used in a typical filtration process. In fact, more than 90% of the water emerges fit for use after filtration. PARC has completed its experimental work and is looking for a partner to implement a pilot installation of the process.