Good Thinking

A new stab at a pen that writes in any color

A new stab at a pen that write...
The Artera pen can sample colors via a built-in scanner
The Artera pen can sample colors via a built-in scanner
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The Artera pen comes with interchangeable ballpoint and brush-type nibs
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The Artera pen comes with interchangeable ballpoint and brush-type nibs
The Artera pen weighs a claimed 45 grams
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The Artera pen weighs a claimed 45 grams
The Artera pen can sample colors via a built-in scanner
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The Artera pen can sample colors via a built-in scanner

It may not be quite up there with manned deep-space travel or flying cars, but the quest for a pen that can write in virtually any color is one that has been with us for a while. A group of Polish entrepreneurs now claim to have developed just such a device, in the form of the Artera.

The whole any-color pen thing started in 2014, when a gadget called the Scribble Ink pen hit Kickstarter.

Its designers claimed that by precisely mixing primary colors of ink from separate cartridges within its body, it was capable of reproducing colors that the user first scanned via the pen itself, or transmitted to it from a smartphone app. Unfortunately, though, funding for the project was subsequently cancelled. The pen is now listed as being available for preorder, on the Scribble website.

The Cronzy pen subsequently showed up on Indiegogo in 2016, utilizing the same operating principal. Its campaign was likewise unsuccessful, and a click on its company website link now takes one to the Scribble site – this presumably means that the same people were behind both pens, or that the two projects merged.

Anyhow, the Artera is now on Kickstarter, and its creators assure us that it is not related to the Scribble or the Cronzy. It does work in much the same way, though.

The Artera pen weighs a claimed 45 grams
The Artera pen weighs a claimed 45 grams

Utilizing a scanner built into the non-writing end of the pen, users are able to scan pretty much any colored surface. An integrated microprocessor reportedly then determines what combination of cyan, magenta, yellow, black or white dyes are needed to reproduce that surface's color, as supplied by cartridges within the pen. The user then simply writes or draws in that color, utilizing their choice of interchangeable ballpoint or brush-type nibs.

Alternatively, it's also possible to simply choose a color from a palette in an accompanying app, the mix code for which is then transmitted to the pen via Bluetooth. Favorite or frequently-used color codes can be saved for future use.

One set of ink cartridges is said to be good for about 200 meters (656 ft) of writing, with one charge of the 400-mAh lithium battery lasting for a claimed six hours of use. It's reckoned that a set of five refill cartridges should cost less than two dollars.

If you aren't gun-shy from hearing about the projects that preceded it, you can now preorder an Artera for a pledge of US$129. Assuming it reaches production, delivery is estimated for next October.

The pen's "scan-and-draw" feature is demonstrated in the following video.

Scan & draw

Source: Kickstarter

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