Any sufficiently advanced technology…oh sod it, MAGIC PAPER!!

Forget quotations, however meaningful. Sometimes a bit of new technology comes along (or a new application of an old one) that sparks a childish joy in me akin to believing in Santa. I don’t care about the HOW it works, I just care that it EXISTS! Today it was this.

Xerox has demonstrated an erasable paper substrate, on which printed images last only for a single day.

The company claimed that the paper, which is being shown in the US this week, can be printed on and, within a 24-hour period, the image on the paper erases itself allowing the page to be used again.

I’m not sure if their claims are accurate, but I want it anyway. Give me the magic paper. Although amongst my capering and drooling I did manage to form the thought “ooh, what does this do for evidence? Will the notion of a ‘hard copy’ as a permanent medium be forever changed?”. However, that thought was immediately replaced with “MAGIC PAPER!”.

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  1. Well it could solve the current US financial problems.

    Just sign a bunch of cheques for a few squillion dollars, pass them off to unsuspecting rubes, and the next day they are worthless and you dont have to pay a cent! Why it’s a license to print money!

    Oh wait…the government has already used that idea. :P

  2. This is actually a really cool idea. I’d agree with the Xerox press release that about 40% of the paper that comes across my desk contains information that I need for less than a work day.

    I’m also thinking printed recipes, technical assembly instructions, maps, directions, etc.

    How durable does the paper have to be to be reusable–like a really really thin whiteboard?

  3. Now, if it only responds to mental commands and appears as whatever it needs to be, then we can have Psychic Paper (check out the newer Dr Who for those who don’t get the reference).

    Seriously, though, is there anything that needs to be around for only one day? I could see people writing bills or contracts on this, then trying to get out when the contract disappears. Of course, it works both ways…

  4. I’m thinking maybe the paper will be branded, watermarked or coloured somehow so it’s recognisable. Well, it would have to be, otherwise you’d lose it by mistake.

    “Where are my notes from that secret meeting with the Pope that I had to erase from my hard drive because the Official Secrets Act demands I only have a paper copy which I have to keep in my pants?”

    “Well they were here yesterday. What’s this warm but blank piece of paper?”

  5. Your headline is great, but the headline of the linked article has to win the award for “Most Lame Headline for Spectacular Product”.

  6. Now, if it could just double as an Internet access point, so I can ‘Skepchick’ anywhere and just roll it up in my pocket when I’m done…

  7. It just erases? I guess that’s neat, but I’m holding out for the paper that self-destructs five seconds after you read that it will self-destruct in five seconds.

  8. I think that paper actually only self-destructs when you throw it into the Chief’s hiding place.

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