What if you could have a writing implement that draws a line like a graphite pencil, but in permanent, non-smudging ink like a pen?
Car design company Pininfarina -- which has worked with the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, Fiat, Peugeot, and Alfa Romeo -- unveiled just such a thing at the global stationery trade fair Paperworld in Frankfurt, Germany.
The 4.EVER Pininfarina Cambiano (PDF) is a luxurious-looking, tapered affair with a machined aluminum barrel inset with wood sporting the company's logo. But the barrel itself is solid, not hollow: instead of ink, it has a tip made out of a metal alloy called "ethergraph" that writes, the company claims, forever.
We're not entirely sure what ethergraph is, but it sounds awfully similar to a pen released by Vat19 in 2010. "The Inkless Metal Beta Pen features a special metal alloy tip," Vat19's description reads. "As you write, tiny amounts of this metal are deposited onto the page. The silvery markings may resemble pencil, but they are permanent and smudge-proof."
Each pen will be sold with a notebook made of "stone paper," an eco-friendly, water resistant, and durable paper made from powdered stone. Pininfarina hasn't announced the price of its new pen, but given the pricing of its fountain pens, we can't imagine it will be particularly affordable.