Smart pen scans and replicates colours

Imagine being able to draw or write with any colour in the world, and not just the colour(s) of the ink that come with your pen.

Say hello to the Scribble Pen, a smart pen with a special ink cartridge and scanner that can replicate any colour.

Billed as the “last pen you’ll ever have to buy”, the Scribble Pen promises to let you “scan” colours simply by touching the RGB colour sensor built into the top of the pen onto a coloured object.

Want to doodle with an exact shade of red from a rose? Touch the pen’s scanner to its petals. Must colour your BB-8 drawing with the right orange? Just touch the Scribble Pen to a BB-8 toy and get colouring. Itching to make a poop emoji masterpiece for your loved one? Go ahead and scan that turd you just squeezed out. OK, maybe don’t do that, but you get the idea.

The pen’s smart ink cartridge “connects to a smart micro pump that recreates the colour you have scanned”. According to the product’s Web site, the ink is water-resistant and won’t ever fade. We have no idea how long the ink will last, only that you’ll be able to “write for miles with each generous, affordable ink cartridge”.

The Scribble Pen comes with three tips for different stroke weights.


You can also connect the pen to smartphones and tablets running iOS 7 (and higher) and Android 4.0 (and higher) to save the colours that you’ve scanned.

Battery life for the pen is said to last up to seven hours on a single charge. The pen charges with a standard Micro USB cable.

The Scribble Pen is currently available for pre-order for $249. There’s also a $119 version called the Scribble Pen Stylus that only works with tablets and doesn’t contain the smart ink cartridge. A combo paper and tablet version of the Scribble sells for $300. All three pens are available in your choice of five different colours: black, white, silver, blue or green.

Before you hit that pre-order button, you should maybe know one thing: The pen may be too good to be true. Before you hit that pre-order button, you should maybe know one thing: The pen may be too good to be true.

The Scribble Pen launched as a Kickstarter project in 2014 and received $366 566 after asking for $100 000. The project, however, was cancelled by Kickstarter after Scribble (the company) failed to show details on how the pen worked and produce a working prototype; backers were never refunded. Scribble then moved the project to Tilt, another crowdfunding Web site, and after raising $227,540, it also was cancelled, but backers were reportedly refunded.

After two failed crowdfunding campaigns, the company’s now selling the pens directly to customers on its Web site. How well do the Scribble Pens even work? Who really knows.

By Raymond Wong for

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