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Printer for self-destructing photos brings Snapchat to real life

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 15, 2014
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Normally, you print things out to get a permanent copy. Not with Diego Trujillo Pisanty's new printer, however. His This Tape Will Self-Destruct art project coats its printouts (in this case, Cold War pictures) with glycerol and potassium salt, triggering an exothermic reaction that burns the paper within moments after you read it. Think of it as a real-world Snapchat where photos literally disappear in a puff of smoke.

This machine doesn't just exist for the pyrotechnics, of course. As Diego explains, it's a commentary on how decades-old spy fiction is suddenly relevant in an era when people are determined to keep their information away from the NSA and other nosy surveillance agencies. Don't expect to pick up this technology-driven political statement at your local store, then. All the same, it's easy to imagine the printer being genuinely useful to secret agents and anyone else who doesn't want to leave a trail of evidence -- digital or physical.

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