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New Type of e-Paper Can Be Used Up To 260 Times

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the e-erasable dept.

Technology 81

joaommp writes "Taiwanese scientists developed a new type of film that can be printed on a thermal printer and erased up to 260 times. The boffins at the Industrial Technology Research Institute claim it as an ideal replacement for paper signs and posters. It does not require patterned electrodes. It is based on a plastic film covered with cholestric liquid crystal, a type of liquid crystal structured similarly to cholesterol molecules and can be erased by simply plugging it to a power source and an A4 sheet costs only US $2. It is expected to be available to consumers within the next two years."

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Take that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37047762)

Take that! Kindle!

Missing the point (2)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#37047786)

We've had etch-a-sketch for years now. The most of the point of printing is so that it doesn't get erased.

Re:Missing the point (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#37047856)

Can I re-print a page in the middle of a contract?

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048338)

Why do we always get a comment from a guy with his head up his ass?
You people are never happy, inventions always come late, your idea is always better than the one they had...

Re:Missing the point (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#37050184)

Just imagine all the printed out e-mails and it will suddenly make sense.
Or you can just print a news article, and you don't have to stare at a glowing screen.
Of course it has to become cheap enough.

In other news... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37047804)

...A manufacturer has invented a more durable buggy whip using exotic space-age materials.

Please adjust your brain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37047944)

What is that supposed to mean?

Simply because YOU do not use buggy whips does not mean OTHER people do not use buggy whips.

"Buy Buggy Whips" turns up 97,900 results in Google.

There are large numbers of people in the Northeast United States who use buggy whips EVERY DAY.

Seriously, what is your problem with buggy whips?

Re:Please adjust your brain. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048010)

"Buy rabid squirrel" turns up over 98k results, you lose. Also:

"Buy stone hammer" turns up 69.8 million results

"Buy purple people eaters" turns up 1.94 million results.

Anyways, I don't have a problem with buggy whips but they're obsolete. Why work on advancing obsolete technology?

Re:Please adjust your brain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048064)

You might actually be retarded. You should probably get checked out for that. In the meantime, I'd suggest always wearing a helmet.

Re:Please adjust your brain. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048264)

Hey I'm not the one arguing for buggy whip research in the age of electric cars.

Re:Please adjust your brain. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049244)

He's in luck, "Buy helmet" turns up 65 million results!

Re:Please adjust your brain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048246)

There are large numbers of people in the Northeast United States who use buggy whips EVERY DAY.

That's because you write the number 100 in 100 point font. That's not what is usually meant by "large numbers", son.

why just the northeast? (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049334)

Members of collarme.com are all around the US and no, that site is nsfw

Re:In other news... (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048152)

Did you seriously just compare paper to buggy whips?

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048206)

do you seriously not understand the analogy?

Re:In other news... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048290)

Yes. Paper isn't ancient history like buggy whips but it's definitely in its twilight years. Sort of like horse transportation in the '20s I guess.

Re:In other news... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#37050136)

Paper isn't going to go away. Maybe the upper classes with their gadgets won't use it anymore but it will remain dominant around the world and used by actual normal people who aren't gadget freaks.

Re:In other news... (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#37052388)

Yes. Paper isn't ancient history like buggy whips but it's definitely in its twilight years. Sort of like horse transportation in the '20s I guess.

Er, no. You clearly spend way too much time watching Apple adverts or reading Engadget or something...

There are certainly niches where paper usage is declining because of newer technology, but it's going to be a long, long, time -- if ever -- before paper can be described as being "in its twilight years."

Re:In other news... (1)

Yamioni (2424602) | more than 3 years ago | (#37071278)

Paper isn't ancient history like buggy whips

Well, actually, paper is far more ancient history than buggy whips, being that it was invented nearly 2000 years ago. The buggy whip can only be credited with about one-tenth of that. /Pedantic

I get your analogy, but I'd say that paper is still far more relevant to humanity these days than buggy whips. Granted that relevancy is diminishing year by year as computers become more and more commonplace world-wide.

Of course if you really want to split hairs, this shit shouldn't even be called paper. There isn't an ounce of wood pulp in it. Calling it paper only describes its intended usage. With its reusability to cost ratio however, I can actually see this forming an effective replacement for conventional paper. And anything that reduces our reliance on wood is a good thing.

Overall worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37047826)

The main point in having physical documents these days is the ability to have a physical copy or writing on the paper. Unless the paper can compete with the cost of single use paper for physical copies or allow for writing of notes it seems of little overall worth.

Re:Overall worth (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#37047908)

Indeed. You can not take the $2 per paper and divide it by 260 and add the electricity costs to get the total paper costs, because most of the papers would still only be printed on once. At $2 per paper, that would be idiocy.

Re:Overall worth (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049266)

I have a crazy idea. Let's make paper out of a reusable and renewable product instead. That way, when you're done with the paper you could just toss it on the ground and wait for it to biodegrade, or perhaps process it back into its original condition.

Re:Overall worth (1)

Yamioni (2424602) | more than 3 years ago | (#37071552)

That's actually a really fucking dumb idea, when you consider humans use paper at a faster rate than it can be naturally recycled. Recycling it ourselves helps the situation some, but have you ever seen 100% recycled paper? It's not something you'd want to run through your photocopier or laser printer. Recycled paper of any significant quality needs fresh wood pulp to be added to it.

So the solution is not to simply go with one or the other, it is to use a combination of both. If you're printing something that is going to be kept and not reused, then print it on conventional paper. If you're printing something (like say, a newspaper) that is going to get blanked and reused after a short period of time, then use the new shit. Do you honestly think the people inventing this stuff sat down and said "Well there's like no market for this shit, let's waste a bunch of money developing it anyway"? Of course there is a market, and of course this invention will be relevant to us as humans. Any invention that that can help reduce our reliance on natural resources should be welcomed with open arms, not shunned like Quasimodo bearing the black plague...

Re:Overall worth (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#37071912)

I disagree. Everything should rely on natural resources. Any invention that will prolong the frequency of the biological cycle for those materials should be welcomed with open arms. If at any time during the process the product becomes "not" a naturally occurring biodegradable substance (or something that at least degrades into that) should be shunned like Quasimoto bearing the black plague. We don't need products that last forever. We have that now, it's called plastic.

WELL AT LEAST THE DONT CLAIM 256 TIMES !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37047836)

Because that would just be weird !!

For what purpose??? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#37047864)

The only time I EVER print ANYTHING is one of the following

- It is something I need to give or mail to someone else (assignment, form, etc)
- It is something I want to keep forever in hard copy (a manual, a picture, a diagram to pin up)

I don't see how having expensive, erasable paper will help either of these situations. The situation the manufacturer quotes doesn't even make sense - what is the use care for these paper signs you want to print off, and yet change all the time????

Re:For what purpose??? (4, Insightful)

trb (8509) | more than 3 years ago | (#37047992)

> what is the use case for these paper signs you want to print off, and yet change all the time????

visitor badges, entry tickets, soup-du-jour sign, etc.

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#37053000)

Of the many places I visit that require badges, all but one use a generic reusable badge (sometimes plastic, sometimes just laminated paper). This new tech doesn't beat that on a cost-of-materials basis.

The one facility I do visit which has badges printed with the name of the visitor also uses a special process wherein the printing on the badge becomes contaminated with a red striped background after 24 hours or so, such that they self-expire in a visible and irreversible way....and this new widget doesn't do that, either.

Tickets? Please. This is spoken by someone who has never done any printing or automated document processing: Trying to handle stock after it's been shoved into a pocket for a few hours/days is going to be very expensive, whereas cardstock is cheap. (Besides, I like to keep my tickets.)

Soup-du-jour sign? Seriously? So a single sign can be reused 260 times, maybe, but only saves just over half a ream of paper...and costs a new printer.

Another example that doesn't work:

Shipping industry for packing slips and bills of lading. It's hard enough to get whole pallets send back in decent shape to be reused, let alone a sheet of e-paper.

I don't want to be negative, but I just don't see the use of it. I print out manuals for stuff from time to time (when fixing something mechanical/greasy where I don't want to get my laptop all covered in funk) and it often seems wasteful, but reusable e-paper no good for that either for the same reason the laptop isn't.

I still print out maps for long trips (despite being armed with a good GPS and an Android phone), and it might be useful for that, but meh: It doesn't happen enough to be worth the cost of the printer, or the trouble of trying to keep the stuff clean and keeping track of it.

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

trb (8509) | more than 3 years ago | (#37057240)

Someone asked for a use case (implying that there were none), I provided some suggestions. I don't think anyone is saying that this stuff is a broad-spectrum replacement for paper. But in cases where paper is used for short-term storage, it might be handy. Re soup-du-jour sign, not only a sign, but the daily specials that are inserted into a restaurant menu and then tossed at the end of the day. Or any list that needs to be reprinted daily.

Re:For what purpose??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37074958)

I don't want to be negative, but I just don't see the use of it. I print out manuals for stuff from time to time (when fixing something mechanical/greasy where I don't want to get my laptop all covered in funk) and it often seems wasteful, but reusable e-paper no good for that either for the same reason the laptop isn't.

This "paper" is made of a plastic film covered with a "cholestric liquid crystal" (whatever that is), is it quite likely to be a lot more durable and easy to clean than regular paper, so it could well fit your use case I just quoted (aside from the initial cost of the printer itself).

If you don't want to be negative, then don't. I find it hard to see the practical use of something like this myself, but there are probably plenty of specialist use cases you and I are simply not aware of where it could save someone a lot of money.

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048026)

STOP THE PRESSES!

Brunes69 can't use the product, thus it is not useful!

Good work there, you saved them a lot of money potentially wasted on marketing this product...

Personally I'd love something I could print high quality pictures on and erase at a whim - I take 8-10000 pictures a year and perhaps 50 of those are print "worthy" (e.g. something spot on I want to hang on a wall) - I'd save a lot of money if I could just print on "top" of an existing picture whenever I wanted to switch them out.

Re:For what purpose??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048050)

Working at a performance venue, We have signs we have to reprint every year. Also, more often, We have a schedule we post every month that gets a few changes. This could potentially save us Lots of money not having to continuously reprint on paper these schedules.

Just because you do everything on your screen now doesn't mean everyone does. please keep this in mind.

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048236)

This could potentially save us Lots of money not having to continuously reprint on paper these schedules.

IF and only if the e-paper is cheaper than 260 sheets of regular paper. I'm guessing that's not gonna turn out well.

I'm struggling, struggling hard, to think of a use for this. Something gets rewritten dozens of times in its useful life and no one cares about the cost...

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048770)

IF and only if the e-paper is cheaper than 260 sheets of regular paper. I'm guessing that's not gonna turn out well.

I'm struggling, struggling hard, to think of a use for this. Something gets rewritten dozens of times in its useful life and no one cares about the cost...

And the chances of something being reprinted 260 times without being lost, scratched or otherwise damaged is small. I'd say it would have to be cheaper/less environmentally damaging than 20 sheets of paper, and that seems highly unlikely. There may be some specialized niches for something like this, but it won't save many trees...

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048518)

Well your going to have to reprint even with this invention. IE you will have to send the paper through the printer again after erasing each sheet. You only save on the paper. Your still going to have time costs with printing things again. And equipment costs for the thermal printer. This isn't e-paper where you can just push an update to the page and have it appear.

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

azadrozny (576352) | more than 3 years ago | (#37054894)

I am not sure that he is saying that when available he would jump all over the new technology, but rather his employer might be interested in doing a cost benefit analysis. There are restaurants that reprint their menus weekly or even daily. If you are printing 100 copies of a one page document daily, one ream of this paper could last three years. Compare that to the more than 200 reams you use now over the same time period.

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#37050804)

Working at a performance venue, We have signs we have to reprint every year. Also, more often, We have a schedule we post every month that gets a few changes. This could potentially save us Lots of money not having to continuously reprint on paper these schedules.

Firstly afaict printing on an economical laser printer costs arround 5 cents a sheet including paper but excluding electricity so at $2 per sheet and assuming the required thermal printer has no other consumables you would have to reuse this paper 20 times to make a saving. My experience with trying to feed used paper back through printers (to print on the other side) is it has to be in pristine condition or it doesn't feed properly so i'm skeptical about whether this will achive 20 cycles under realistic conditions.

Secondly introducing this into a business environment will mean duplicating your printers, thermal e-paper for the transient documents and regular paper in lasers for the permanent documents, thats a lot of extra infrastructure.

Thirdly it would be easy to inadvertantly give, throw away or destroy hundreds of dollars worth of e-paper just by printing a large document on the wrong printer and sending it to someone or accidently putting a document in the paper recycling bin when it should have gone in the e-paper bin.

It's a nice idea but I just don't see it being practical unless it gets a LOT cheaper.

Re:For what purpose??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048108)

There is this lady on my bus who every day prints out a stack of fox news articles and reads them, she could use this. I guess tablets are for liberals.

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049262)

She must really like fox news articles to use her laptop and a portable printer on the bus.

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

losfromla (1294594) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049348)

She does that so she can hand them out to friend/victims, kind of like religious pamphlets. I don't know this old lady just taking a guess at her motivations, it's not difficult with the simpletons that follow fox "news". Not sure if I'd be more embarrassed to be right or wrong, but, could you ask her and find out? Don't accept any paper from her though, it could give her the wrong idea (that you share her mindset).

Re:For what purpose??? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#37064240)

I don't see how having expensive, erasable paper will help either of these situations.

Maybe not your uses, but I could see some uses:
One time use things people print out for meetings (agenda, a chart, list, etc.)

Something you want/need to read "more comfortably" (depending on the person) but won't need to keep forever, such as proofreading a long/technical document. Especially if you could have a 'pen' that wrote on this stuff in the same erasable way.

I hate when people print something out rather than just emailing me, but something like this DOES seem useful.

Cholesterol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37047872)

But is it the good kind of cholesterol or the bad kind?

Ideal replacement for paper signs and posters? (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 3 years ago | (#37047902)

Don't think so. Wake me up when it does full colour, with a proper white background and the same kind of dynamic range as old-fashioned ink on regular paper.

Re:Ideal replacement for paper signs and posters? (1)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049408)

If you can blank it by applying a current to the entire paper, can you blank a portion of it by applying a small current to that part of the paper?

In other words, can someone soldier together some kind of eraser-wand out of magnets and batteries and vandalize the posters by erasing portions of them?

I guess it's no different than someone could do with a sharpie marker today, though.

AJAX (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#37050204)

"If you can blank it by applying a current to the entire paper, can you blank a portion of it by applying a small current to that part of the paper?"

Do you want print AJAX driven web pages, or what?

commenters missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37047946)

it's for things that don't matter if they get changed. Admittedly the actual article has some really stupid uses, but for things like job postings that must be posted internally by policy this would (possibly) be worthwhile.

For absolutely every other use case, this is complete garbage.

Did many of them die? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37047966)

Did many boffins die to bring us this information?

Angry Birds (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048030)

Unless it can play angry birds consumers will not react favourably to it.

Re:Angry Birds (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 3 years ago | (#37051940)

Well it can play angry birds, but I'm still not convinced consumers will go for it. You see, the refresh rate kinda sucks.

I went to Costco and Staples.com (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048158)

It seems a case of 5,000 sheets can be readily had for around $45 or less. That means at leas 222 sheets for $2.

As this can only be reused 260 times, that gives a rather small windows of savings. Seeing all the common things that can reduce/eliminate the suitability of paper for a second use (staples, holes for binders, crinkling, tears, etc) as well as sheer laziness and apathy of people...

Office managers probably are better striving for a more paperless office to save $$$ and environment.

Re:I went to Costco and Staples.com (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048312)

It seems a case of 5,000 sheets can be readily had for around $45 or less. That means at leas 222 sheets for $2.

I agree with your sentiment, but your analysis didn't include toner/ink, which is good for a penny or so per page.

I guess this could be useful for the equivalent of "paper backups" - daily reports and such that don't get handled unless there is some kind of emergency. When it's no longer useful just put it in the eraser and re-use instead of the shredder. Hey! Another cost savings - no more shredder truck! :)

Re:I went to Costco and Staples.com (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048406)

Requires a special printer though. How much does it cost? There is also a potential time cost. How long does it take to print compared to a copy machine? A copy machine can do between 20 and 80 sheets per minute.

Re:I went to Costco and Staples.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048540)

Also what about recycling?

Re:I went to Costco and Staples.com (1)

beh (4759) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048654)

Question for the pricing breakdown - can the e-paper be printed on on both sides?

If not, the usable pages go up to 10.000...

Also, trying to print a 50 page document, and your either US$50 (double-sided print) or US$100 (single-sided print) out of pocket - and you need to buy enough paper for the longest document you might want to print.

Besides, reprinted 260 times only really works, if you treat the epaper fairly carefully... Once it has been folded a few times / crumpled / ... I'm not sure you can still go that often. Besides - when you add the ink to the cost of the individual pages, have you added the extra cost of re-arranging the paper, carefully aligning it, (possibly having to worry about which side is up), and then putting it back into the printer, as opposed to just putting another stack of paper into the printer?

What about marking, noting, drawing on the printout? Will that damage the epaper, or will it handle that cleanly?

Finally, what's the environmental impact of 260 pages of (recycled) paper + ink vs. the environmental impact of disposing the epaper (and its chemicals)?

I'm all for the idea of epaper, but I think there is still a fair number of issues left with it...

The Boffins?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048234)

Anyone else who read it as "buffoons"? I guess my education is lacking. Seriously though, who is going to pay $2 for a sheet that has to be erased after every use, with expensive electricity? What happens when the paper crinkles? Or when the printer jams Oops! Just ruined $50 worth of sheets, sorry boss!

Brings new meaning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048266)

To watching your cholesterol

Double FAIL (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048410)

...erased up to 260 times... and an A4 sheet costs only US $2

(1) You'll have a job selling a European pinko-commie A4 sheet measured in spawn-of-the-Devil millimeters* for US dollars. They'll give up their 8.5 x 11 God-fearin' inches Letter when you pry it from their cold, dead 3-ring binders.

(2) More seriously, that price has got to come down before it makes financial sense. Lets see - A4 paper... google.. about $3.83** for 500 sheets, so to break even you'd need to use each bit of ePaper, hmmm... $2 / ( 3.83 / 500) ) equals... 261 times! Oh, wait....

(* They say you can keep foldin' it and it keeps its aspect ratio. WITCHCRAFT I tell you!!!)

(** OK, I totally fudged this but its not far off...)

Re:Double FAIL (1)

fedos (150319) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049030)

The least expensive Google Shopping result that I got for "A4 paper ream" was $8.99 for Hammermill Fore Multipuprose. This comes to about $0.018 per sheet. So the break even point for this ePaper would be 111 1/4 sheets. So your two real cost issues are:

1) The startup up costs of buying the printer: will any thermal transfer printer do, or do I need get a special one for this type of paper?

2) Actual sheet lifetime: is the ePaper durable enough to last the 260 reprints, and will my employees remember not to throw it away.

Actually, I'm sick of people who seriously make the complaint "the cost has to come down" when things like this are still in the research/development phase. This isn't even an actual product and people are on here saying "I won't buy it because I don't know how to do simple arithmetic."

Re:Double FAIL (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#37058896)

The least expensive Google Shopping result that I got for "A4 paper ream" was $8.99 for Hammermill Fore Multipuprose.

Because A4 paper is a specialist item in the land of US Letter, DUH! The sensible cost comparison is with your local default paper size.

My guesstimate was based on UK prices - £3/ream - take off the 20% tax that includes, multiply by $1.6 and you have about $4. I just looked on amazon.com and you can get US Letter (in the US) for $3.72, so I was pretty much on the money.

Actually, I'm sick of people who seriously make the complaint "the cost has to come down" when things like this are still in the research/development phase

Sure the cost will come down - but what to? Even if the cost comes down to 10 cents, you'll still need to re-use each sheet an average of 10 times to compete with a 1 cent bit of paper. Now, looking at CD-R disks, they started out at $30 a pop (back in the days when making a coaster really sucked) and now cost about 10 cents - so its not impossible that ePaper might end up costing little more than treePaper. However, that sort of drop requires economy of scale: the product has to succeed a bit before prices start to drop, creating a cycle of falling price and increasing uptake. That means the product has to be useful from day 1. In the early days of CD-Rs, developers needed them for authoring CD-ROMs, so there was a market. Then they started to become useful for backup, and were cheaper than tape, then they became cheaper than Zips and Syquests, and the market expanded... then they became cheaper than albums on CD (hoist the Jolly Rodger!) and the rest is history. The question is, what will ePaper be good for on day 1?

Sticking with CDs, this may be why CD-RWs have always been "bubbling under" - they've always cost several times more than CD-Rs so you only use them if you're really sure that you're going to be organized and re-use them multiple times.

1) The startup up costs of buying the printer: will any thermal transfer printer do, or do I need get a special one for this type of paper?

Again, that depends if they can get momentum. Thermal printers are a lot simpler than lasers, and there's no ink/toner/delicate photosensitive roller to replace - so the cost of ownership should be low provided people are organized enough to maintain a high rate of paper re-use.

Phew. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37048570)

At first, I thought it said a new type of toilet paper that could be used up to 260 times...

Won't work (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048706)

Even ignoring the issues with the required tech and the price, a problem remains: There's no way a sheet of paper will remain pristine enough to pass through a printer 260 times without jamming under any kind of realistic conditions.

I highly suspect that even under completely unrealistic usage conditions, it'll jam the printer after the 5th-10th time or so. Printers bend the paper and don't have perfect alignment, and that's got to add up eventually.

Besides, it's a thermal printer. Nobody uses those except for printing tickets, and for that reuse makes no sense.

Even ignoring all that, nobody is going to bother with figuring out what paper can be reused and carefully putting it back into the printer. If this invention has a practical use, it has to be a very niche one.

Currency (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048754)

I could see this as part of a countries currency. Mind you not the whole note. But you could have a strip on the currency that gets updated with a new code everytime it hits a bank. Then replace the notes after the 200th use. Could be used for tracking currency and preventing counterfitting.

Re:Currency (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049018)

It could be used the following way by merchants. Each bill would have a strip with a code. If the code is wiped then the bill becomes worthless. Buisnesses could be given that a machine that wipes the code after transfering the money to a bank account. The money in the account would free up when the physical bills are deposited at the bank. Thieves would not be able to use the processed bills. Bogus codes could be printed on the bills. But these would be declined when a merchant processes the bill.

Re:Currency (1)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 3 years ago | (#37049246)

The whole point of cash currencies is that they CAN'T be tracked. If you start tracking my currency, I'll find another that can't be tracked!

Re:Currency (1)

BillX (307153) | more than 3 years ago | (#37052218)

Someone should alert Zimbabwe. They could save a bundle not having to reprint all the bills each week, just update the dollar value on them each time the bank turns them over. Take that, hyperinflation!

wallpaper and commercial posters (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37048888)

Well, I can see this can be used at some point as funky wallpaper and commercial posters. It makes sense of-course, the thing that would make it really stand out would be if they also developed a way to print on it without taking it down. So if they can have a printer head, that is the size of the sheet of paper itself, that you use sort of like a stamp. You select an image, touch the printer to the paper and it leaves the necessary impression - picture on the paper and you didn't have to take the paper down, that would improve efficiency and save time and money for the stores.

If not that, then you have to print the new picture and bring it with you, then you have to take the old one down, put the new one up, the amount of time it takes to do this goes up, where is the efficiency?

Re:wallpaper and commercial posters (1)

Yamioni (2424602) | more than 3 years ago | (#37071968)

Using this as changable wallpaper is a really awesome idea. If nothing else you could simply change the color of your walls to/from white/black in summer/winter and help augment your heating and cooling bills. Me? I'd design my own wallpaper and change it every month or so. Plus you could print family photos and artwork directly onto your walls! No more frames to square up every time your fat buddy comes over.

Ho8o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37049166)

Ironic to see A4 priced in USD... (1)

hackel (10452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37050534)

Here's hoping that one day my fellow idiots in the USA will adopt standard paper sizes... Along with all the other international standards they so blatantly love to ignore.

Scumbag poster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37050748)

Scumbag poster
quotes A4 sizes
in US dollars.

Hint: A4 = euros, US letter = US dollars

Re:Scumbag poster (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 3 years ago | (#37051876)

Scumbag anonymous coward that failed to RTFA and failed to notice the post was consistently based on the same units as the article.

Scratch that! Scumbag anonymous coward with too much time on his hands and nothing better to do than being a prick.

an A4 sheet costs ONLY US $2 (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#37051234)

What B.S. I can buy more than 260 sheets of paper for $2 (yea, I pay attention to sales and buy several reams at a time.) So why would I ever fool with this junk when simple paper is less expensive, and I can print it with existing technology, can keep it indefinitely (not going to do that with $2 a page printouts) and I have all the other benefits of normal paper (including color printing)? Seems like something for fools with too much money like Ed Begley jr, but outside of a few wackos who is going to fall for this?

Re:an A4 sheet costs ONLY US $2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37052414)

You aren't going to get very high quality out of a $4 ream of paper, depending on the quality of this it may still be worth using in some applications provided it compares well with cardstock in quality and ubiquity.

Re:an A4 sheet costs ONLY US $2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37063468)

What about the cost of ink/toner. Toner may be cheap, but it'll still add at least a cent per page, which adds up to $2.50 for 250 pages, then add the cost of the paper which even if you only pay $1.50 for 250 sheets, it'll be $4 total for 250 pages, so simple paper is in fact twice as expensive.

Your math is off (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#37064342)

Your math is bad, I don't pay any where near that much for ink/toner. I sometimes refill myself and save even more, but even just buying supplies intelligently I can print for far less than you. And lets not forget to factor in whatever is needed to print in sheets of the pricy paper, and even the extra desk space that would be needed for a second printer. No, this is just crazy talk.

Re:an A4 sheet costs ONLY US $2 (1)

Yamioni (2424602) | more than 3 years ago | (#37072046)

but outside of a few wackos who is going to fall for this?

I dunno, maybe people that like the environment, and don't take pride in fucking mother nature up her ass just to save a couple pennies on a sheet of paper? But then you'd probably call those people wackos too wouldn't you?

Re:an A4 sheet costs ONLY US $2 (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#37078874)

Sure would. They seem like the same wackos who overpay for hybrid or all electric cars to "save the environment", without considering the greater impact that manufacturing the wacko vehicles has on the environment over the traditional vehicles. And don't even get me started on the absurdly inefficient way that they burn natural gas to make hydrogen to power fuel cell cars rather than just making natural gas powered cars. But hey, as long as you can use offensive language to defend your narrow and simple minded view of everything I guess you'll be happy.

Worse for the environment overall (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 3 years ago | (#37051348)

Soon we will be told that powering all these ePaper displays costs more environmentally than simply using a new piece of paper, like let's say because generating the power requires resource consumption that has worse impact on the environment. Of course I'm being sardonic, because this HAS happened before, supposedly green technologies that cost more than they save.

Environmentally Friendly??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37065634)

How is a sheet of PLASTIC covered in liquid crystals ever more environmentally friendly than paper???

1) Creation of paper uses trees, a renewable relatively clean energy source.
2) Plasic requires Petroleum.

Degradation of paper is simple quick and clean.
Plastic does not degrade so quickly or clean.

Just imagine either a landfill with 200 million sheets of paper or
a landfill with1 million e-Sheets..
come back in 6 months. Most of the paper has decomposed. 1 million e-sheets are still there showing how environmentally friendly they are.

Re:Environmentally Friendly??? (1)

Yamioni (2424602) | more than 3 years ago | (#37072276)

How is a sheet of PLASTIC covered in liquid crystals ever more environmentally friendly than paper???

Ask, and ye shall recieve.

1) Creation of paper uses trees, a renewable relatively clean energy source.

Renewable, sure. But how quickly? It takes a long time for a tree to grow to a respectable size. We use paper a good bit faster than we can regrow it through natural recycling.

2) Plasic requires Petroleum.

Actually it doesn't. Ever heard of bioplastics [wikipedia.org] ? They use oils and fats from plants such as corn and wheat rather than petroleum.

Degradation of paper is simple quick and clean. Plastic does not degrade so quickly or clean.

Actually some bioplastics are designed to be bio-degradable. They are already in use to make bio-degradable garbage bags.

Just imagine either a landfill with 200 million sheets of paper or a landfill with1 million e-Sheets.. come back in 6 months. Most of the paper has decomposed. 1 million e-sheets are still there showing how environmentally friendly they are.

Using the proper components, none of what you claim as issues in your post will actually be issues. So either you are spreading FUD or you are truthfully ignorant of the subject matter. If it is the former, knock it off. If it is the latter, then I hope you and others have learned something new today.

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