The History of The Lightscribe Technology
LightScribe has changed the way people do CD labeling. Rather than using printable discs or labels, LightScribe uses recordable CDs or DVDs that are specially coated so that a laser can etch images onto the label side of the disc. The history of LightScribe begins with Hewlett-Packard engineer Daryl Anderson who first came up with the LightScribe concept of using lasers to inscribe labels on the disc.
In 2001, Anderson, Dr. Makarand Gore and Paul McClellan filed to patent their product and the coating that covers the label side of the disc; this reactive dye changes from color, originally a sepia tone, to shades of silver or black when it absorbs the 780 nanometers infrared laser light.
Lightscribe labels are burned in concentric circles by CD and/or DVD burners capable of supporting LightScribe technology, beginning at the center of the disc and moving outward. The designs cannot be replaced with another, but more can be added to existing patterns.
As well as using a special dye to cover the surface, LightScribe discs include codes at the center that instruct the drive on the precise rotational position, which lets the drive correctly label the disc at high speed. These codes also ensure that if the pattern is inscribed again, it will line up perfectly and darken the original pattern and, arguably, make the image better.
Once product development was complete, HP then began marketing LightScribe through its imaging and optical storage divisions in 2004.
LightScribe creates greyscale images onto the label side of the disc, and when first marketed, the discs were available only in a sepia color. As development continued on the product, other colors were eventually released. Beginning in 2006, other colors were introduced, and the discs now come in an array of shades, though the etching is still done in shades of grey.
At the time of its release on the market, LightScribe was the first technology of this sort that let users etch images onto the labels of the discs. Prior to LightScribe's development, brands like DiscT@2, on the market since 2002, only allowed users to burn unused portions of the data side of the disc.