make paper copies of documents and other visual images quickly and cheaply.
It was introduced by Xerox in the 1960s, and over the following 20 years
it gradually replaced copies made by carbon paper, mimeograph machines
and other duplicating machines. The prevalence of its use is one of the
factors that prevented the development of the paperless office heralded
early in the digital revolution.
Photocopiers are widely used in business, education, and government. There
have been many predictions that photocopiers will eventually become moot
as information workers continue to increase their digital document creation
and distribution, and rely less on distributing actual pieces of paper.
However, photocopiers are undeniably more convenient than computers for
the very common task of creating a copy of a humble piece of paper.
In recent years, high-end photocopiers have adopted digital technology,
with the copier effectively consisting of an integrated scanner and laser
printer. This design has several advantages, such as automatic image quality
enhancement and the ability to "build jobs" or scan page images independently
of the process of printing them.Some digital copiers can function as high-speed
scanners; such models typically have the ability to send documents via
email or make them available on a local area network.