Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The "reusable paper" vision - is it finally here?

It was over 20 years ago that a future-looking strategy team at HP, one that I had the pleasure of leading, came up with some "wild cards" that could disrupt the printing and imaging industry (I don't think we were using the "d-word" back then, but found something similar to describe the idea). These one-off's went along with the team's more obvious trend analysis, seeing paper use diminishing over time, with electronic distribution of information growing exponentially into the future. More trendspotting showed device prices following an ongoing downtrend in price/performance.

But the idea of wild cards was attempting to identify events not on a continuum, that may or may not come to pass, and one of those was "reusable paper". This news from the Asian Wall Street Journal indicates that may have arrived, or will by next year when Seiko Epson indicates it will begin taking orders for the PaperLab. With dimensions of "2.6 meters (8.5 ft) in width, 1.8 meters in height and 1.2 meters in depth," according to the @wsjasia and reporter Jun Hongo (@junhungo@wsj), the machine is clearly not home-office ready.

Stay tuned for more developments!

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