Xerox: More than just a paper company

April 28, 2008 7:19:12 PM PDT
Think how cost efficient and environmentally friendly re-usable paper might be. That's one of the latest breakthroughs coming from the folks who brought us photo-copies. It's the kind of copy paper that James Bond might want to use.

"The image lasts about a day. It will fade gradually over a day. When you come back to the office the next morning the image will be gone," says Paul Smith of Xerox.

The prototype Xerox copy machine does not use toner or ink. It uses light to print images on the paper.

"You can just keep reusing the paper," says Smith.

It's a green idea to reduce paper waste, but it'll cost four times the price of regular paper. Xerox invited tech journalists from all over the state to its research center to show that the company is more than copy machines. Scientists at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) are showing off some diverse innovations.

"We are looking at how is it that we can have an impact on things that really matter to people," says PARC President Marc Bernstein.

Xerox laser technology is being tested to diagnose pregnant women for birth defects and detect cancers without invasive procedures. A laser is shot through a blood sample on a slide to detect diseased cells.

"It has the potential to replace amniocentesis and the need to replace biopsies in cases where there is metastasis cancer," says Bernstein.

PARC helped reduce the size of a solar panel to a small glass panel using laser technology from their laser printer.

"The individual concentrators here have been shrunk down and the whole thing has been molded out of glass," says PARC scientist, Nitin Parekh.

Xerox says it was able to use the technology from the ink in its cartridges to come up with a filter less water filter. Water swirling through the filter removes impurities using centrifugal force.

"What our researchers discovered is that they could use some of the same principles to separate particles in water," says PARC scientist Scott Elrod.

Other developments are in familiar territory, like 3D imaging for documents and printing.

Barron's West Coast editor Eric Savitz says the company put on this display for visibility

"I doubt it bothers the competition any particular way. I think they're just trying to bring some attention to a company that gets lost in the shuffle."

Everything Xerox showed us are prototypes and not on the market yet.


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