Inkless and Re-Printable Technology
Zink Imaging has developed the world's first inkless printer. It uses a special paper that’s made of micro-thin layers containing three types of color forming dye crystals: yellow on top, magenta in the middle and cyan on the bottom. Zink has this technology in at least four devices, including the Wasabi PZ310 portable inkless printer that is sold by Dell.
The Wasabi PZ310 is a pocket-sized printer that produces full-color photos wirelessly from bluetooth-enabled devices such as your camera phone. The printer can handle resolutions of up to 640x960 pixels and can also be configure to work via a USB port. Look for similar devices in the future, especially as the inkless paper technology is improved upon and made cheaper to manufacture.
Toshiba has developed a re-printable paper technology and incorporated it into their B-SX8R printer. The B-SX8R printer can erase and reprint, on a single sheet of paper up to 500 times. The printer uses thermal paper, similar to that used in early fax machines but the re-printable paper used in the B-SX8R is more durable. When the paper is heated to 180 degrees the pigments inside the paper react to the heat to create an image. However, when the B-SX8R heats the paper between 130 and 170 degrees, the pigments revert to white making the paper blank and ready for a reprint.
The technology is revolutionary but expensive. When this printer was first released in 2006 it was priced at over £5,000 and each re-printable sheet over £5, no wonder this printer is no longer on sale. The idea was a great one that should inspire the development of similar products in the future, if the costs can be brought down.