Printers suck. Let’s just face it. The ink costs a fortune for some reason, they break constantly, they refuse to work when you need them to, and above all, they’re incredibly wasteful. Seriously. Think about how much paper you have to run through the things every freaking day. Think of all the old people printing out their emails. It kills trees and it wastes money.
Fortunately, the English have figured out how to make paper printed on bright, shiny and clean. And, even better, it involves blasting it with lasers.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have essentially created an anti-printer. You run printed paper through it, and green lasers blast the paper. This evaporates the toner on the page without lighting the paper on fire, which is a lot trickier than you’d think.
Obviously you can’t repeat this process over and over again: the paper starts to yellow after a few green laser treatments. But it does both create an opportunity to recycle, and, more importantly, spend some time at work blasting things with lasers.
Laser-powered unprinter wipes documents in a flash [New Scientist]