Xerox shows off paper that clears itself


Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (Parc) has been showing off a new printer paper that wipes itself clean every day.

The 'intelligent redaction' paper is coated with an ultraviolet-sensitive material and text is printed by light beams rather than toner. The light deposits black spots on the paper to create text, but these fade away after 24 hours.

Jessica Staddon, manager of security and privacy research at Parc, explained that the technology makes it easier to collaborate during the process of identifying and redacting privileged information. "Interviews with paralegals and attorneys highlighted the difficulties of identifying information that falls under attorney-client privilege and which should be redacted" - she said.

"In practice, identifying such information involves multiple sets of eyes. Junior attorneys make a first pass and then send the documents to senior attorneys for comments."

Staddon said that the paper could be used around 100 times before the coating's ability to fade starts to deteriorate.

Xerox estimates that 40 per cent of documents are viewed only once after printing and that the paper would have an environmental benefit also. The company expects print volumes to climb 30 per cent in the next 10 years.

Parc has a long record of technological breakthroughs - including Ethernet, the graphical user interface, the mouse, laser printing and object orientated programming.