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The world is full of design inspiration, and every day new technologies are developed to help artists and designers translate real-life things into digital elements. If you can scan posters for fonts to use using a handy tool, then you can certainly sample the colors you see with nothing but a pen.
The Cronzy Pen lets you turn the world into your personal Adobe Photoshop canvas. The gadget has the ability to scan and store up to 16 million different colors. You can either aim the pen at any object to sample its shade à la eyedropper tool, or pick a color from the accompanying app.
While other smart pens only work on compatible smart paper that you have to buy separately or as part of a writing set, the Cronzy Pen can write on various surfaces since it uses actual ink, courtesy of a miniature cartridge embedded into the tool. It also can reportedly last for days without the need to charge.
It took two years for the team behind the Cronzy Pen to come up with a small working prototype, and now they are turning to Indiegogo to help with further product testing and production. Right now, the prototype can only identify four colors and can take about a minute to finish scanning before it’s ready for writing, but with an initial fundraising goal of $200,000, the company aims to have stock of the fully functional and optimized product ready by next year, with shipments slated for fall.
The Cronzy Pen—which you can get in either black or silver—comes with two sets of ink cartridges, five interchangeable pen tips that let you write in varying line weights, a charging case, and a power supply.
This pen, once completely funded, has the makings of yet another must-have art tool almost anyone can use and enjoy—anyone willing to pay the fairly hefty price, that is. As of this writing, 96 out of 100 slots of the Super early bird set have already been claimed, which lets you purchase the pen and its accessories for $100. The value of the pen, once it’s ready for shipping, is expected to rise to $300.
Jam Kotenko is a technology reporter and graphic designer who specializes in coverage of Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps. Her work has been published by Digital Trends, Bustle, and Gotta Be Mobile.