Xerox researchers have developed a novel color printing technology that allows multiple images to be combined in a single hard copy print, yet allows users to view the images one image at a time by exposing it to a specific color of light. It is the first time that alternating detailed pictorial images have been displayed by controlling the light. Called “Switch-A-View” printing, the Illuminant Multiplexed Imaging technology allows multiple pictures to be embedded in printed objects. The technology grew out of the company’s extensive investigations in color, which account for nearly 40 percent of the Xerox research budget.
Technology DescriptionThe Switch-A-View technology exploits the manner in which human color perception adapts in the presence of narrow-band light sources with a collage of overlapping images. The result: two entirely separate — and quite detailed — images can be printed on a single piece of paper, but only one of them will be seen under blue light, for example, and the other will be seen only under red light. It’s a more sophisticated version of the children’s trick of using colored cellophane to reveal the “secret message.” Different effects can be created with the hidden images, including simple animation and changing or disappearing images.
The patented technique depends on specialized color management software and and a calibrated color printer. Viewing of the individual images is accomplished by switching back and forth between narrow-band light sources, such as colored LED’s, or a single color displayed on a monitor.
Normally, color images are produced by varying the amounts of cyan, magenta and yellow to control the color. With Switch-A-View, the cyan, magenta, and yellow colorants are used to absorb the red, green, and blue lights, respectively.
The Switch-A-View technology is a form of extended imaging, or hyper imaging, where more information and value is contained in an image than is immediately apparent upon initial viewing. The sudden change in the perceived image with a change in illumination has a significant visual impact that is useful for drawing the observer’s attention and providing amusement. The use of multiplexed imaging does require control over the illumination under which prints are viewed. Environments that are naturally dark and have controlled artificial lighting, therefore, offer natural venues for the use of Switch-A-View imaging.
Intellectual Property SummaryXerox is investigating an array of ‘hidden imagery’ technology to enable today’s documents to communicate in more sophisticated ways or offer new levels of security. These technologies include Glossmark™ printing and Correlation Marks, in addition to Swith-A-View.
For your convenience and review, we have provided a sample of selected patents from our portfolio.
For Licensing InformationTo learn more about licensing the Switch-A-View technology.