Invisible Ink: The Next Big Gimmick?

invisibleink1Most of the time when a new printing technology comes along it’s pretty clear why it’s a big deal, and you set to working out how best to use it to your advantage. But occasionally life deals you something like Toshiba’s invisible ink printer.

Dubbed “Loops,” the Japanese device turns the traditional laser-printer process on its head. Where your typical printer melts toner so that it can be transferred to a sheet of paper, the toner used by Loops melts at a much lower temperature. The result: run a printed page through the device and it comes out seemingly blank, as the heat it applies turns the special toner transparent.

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While it’s being touted as an eco-friendly technology – you can reuse the same paper about six times before it becomes unreadable – there’s that nagging feeling that this has excellent potential for direct mail and other creative pieces, if you could just wrap your head around it.

The first use that comes to mind is as a replacement for the old “rub this box with a dime to see what prize is revealed underneath” trick. Of course your giveaway better be pretty alluring if people are going to go to the trouble of ironing your mailer.

Considering the wealth of creativity we see every day among PaperSpecs readers, we thought we’d ask you for ways this new technology could be used. Please lend us your thoughts in the comments below, or by emailing [email protected].

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