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A method for reducing environmental impact of printing by minimising ink usage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000240667D
Publication Date: 2015-Feb-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method for reducing environmental impact of printing by minimising ink usage, by automatically calculating whether it is more efficient to print the negative version of images.

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A method for reducing environmental impact of printing by minimising ink usage

Printers will typically print images and text exactly as it is on the screen, as that might be what the user wants. However, this might not be the most economical or environmental-friendly use of printer ink / toner. Instead a user might be willing to accept a lower quality of print or inverted images in order to save money and be less harmful to the environment. Advanced presentation programs convert a black background to white to save on ink when printing, although there are few ink/toner saving technologies for images.

    The solution herein makes the most efficient use of printer ink or toner by calculating the ink / toner consumption for printing an artefact as it is on the screen, and by similarly calculating a negative image of the same artefact, then offering the cheapest and most environmentally friendly option to the user. This feature can be provided as an extra print option. For example, alongside duplex and greyscale options that are often provided in printer preference dialogues.

    The advantage is that with certain artefacts, the solution gives the user the potential to save on ink / toner costs, with environmental benefits as well. For example, this would be useful when printing documents with images and presentation slides with diagrams, flow charts, and images where an exact print representation of what's on screen is not essential.

    Looking at the idea in more detail, a negative image is an image of the original artifact in which the lightest areas of the artifact appear darkest and the darkest areas appear lightest. If the original artifact has more dark colours, the cost of printing the artifact increases because the cost is directly...