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June - 2008 - issue > Tech Tracker
Xerox showcases erasable paper
Christo Jacob
Friday, May 30, 2008
Xerox is making yesterday’s science fiction into a reality through its new innovation. The company’s research arm recently showcased its latest innovations that include erasable paper and tools. The project, which was kicked off in November 2006, is a collaborative effort of Palo Alto Research Center. (PARC) and the Xerox Research Center in Canada.

The paper can be reused up to 100 times, after printed text automatically deletes itself from its surface within 24 hours. The paper contains specially coded molecules that create a print after being exposed to ultraviolet light emitted from a thin bar in a printer. The molecules developed by Xerox readjust within 24 hours after exposure to the original form to delete the print, or heat can readjust the molecule instantly. The technology that can also be used for network printing is currently available only for black and white printing.

Scientists state that the new technology can make documents more intelligent by providing a deeper meaning to text and images by cross-referencing similar data and images mined off the Internet and incorporating other sources like e-mail messages and corporate networks.

Since its establishment in 1970, the Palo Alto Research Center, funded by Xerox, has created numerous technologies that are used on PCs today, including Ethernet, the graphical user interface (GUI), and the computer mouse. The laboratory, with other Xerox research facilities, is now trying to help its parent company and other startups by focusing on printing and other innovation to access, use, and secure electronic documents.

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