Feeding our endless hunger for disposable information and hardcopy, printers are one of the most useful inventions, but the word "printer" is also synonymous with the word "consumable." Can we do bettter?
Although various companies and organizations, including the Media Lab partner One Laptop Per Child, have begun to address the very large latent demand for information technology hardware in the developing world, there is little interest given to printer development.
Hardcopy is fundamental for basic information technology needs such as medication prescriptions, and legal forms. Even for those who are not literate or computer saavy, printers are useful to share information such as maps and engineering drawings. However, printers are expensive to maintain and require a fair amount of electricity, which is often not available.
The EcoPrinter Project challenges conventional notions of printing and explores a simple printer design which will hopefully provoke future consumer products which are both ecologically responsible and accessible to people in developing countries as well.
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