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Computer: Printer: Paper
Paper Rewritable   (+3)  [vote for, against]
Monochrome photo paper clearer than the eye can see.

A photo paper which uses DVD Rewritable technology to print extremely crisp monochrome photos. The paper has a dye layer that can be changed from light to dark and back by a high power laser. Whereas DVD labeling/unused space printing uses blank DVDs, this would use special paper (actually plastic in the shape of a photo) and a laser beam. The resolution would be 1 bit 32,000 DPI.
-- Amishman35, Oct 30 2006

Mono and polychrome versions available - few commercial applications exist, with the exception of a couple of handheld text-readers from Sony. [zen_tom, Oct 30 2006]

Xerox Seeks Erasable Form of Paper for Copiers
The researchers describe the invention as being based on compounds that can change color when they absorb a certain wavelength of light, but can then gradually revert to their original appearance. The compounds currently self-erase in about 16 to 24 hours, or can be erased immediately when heated. [xaviergisz, Nov 27 2006]

Scientists Have Invented Paper That You Can Print With Light, Erase With Heat, and Reuse 80 Times https://science.sla...-and-reuse-80-times
[xaviergisz, Feb 07 2017]

Sounds like you're describing a thermal printer, to me.
-- st3f, Oct 30 2006

There's that new lcd paper stuff - and it works without all those lasers - I don't know what the resolution is though.
-- zen_tom, Oct 30 2006

kudos, best idea I've read in quite a while.

Because of the ultra-fine resolution, you may also be able to print diffraction patterns and holograms.

However it may be difficult to implement. In a DVD burner the read/write laser only has to move on a single axis. This invention would require fine motor control in 2 axes (assuming you're talking about rectangular media without a big hole in the centre).

Note for searching for similar inventions: printing on the blank space of DVDs with the burner is also known as 'pit art'.
-- xaviergisz, Oct 30 2006

Fair point, Ian, but it'd be surprised if laser solutions aren't amongst those being considered in the many possible products that fall under the heading of epaper.
-- st3f, Oct 31 2006

Toshiba just annouced the release of this today. "Paper" is reusable 500 times and only costs £5 per sheet.....
-- ham_on_a_roll, Nov 27 2006

// reusable 500 times and only costs £5 per sheet..... //

Which works out at GBP£0.01 per print, in 2006.

Current (2017) prices for basic white A4 paper are around GBP£0.005 per sheet.

It would be worth finding out what the current economics are - they might be more favourable by now.
-- 8th of 7, Feb 07 2017

random, halfbakery