Wow, this pen can write in any color on Earth

Like the color of that flower? Your friend's tie? With this new Scribble pen making a run on Kickstarter, all the hues of the world could be yours.

Michael Franco
Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
2 min read

Take that, Crayola! The ink version of the Scribble will draw in 100,000 different colors. Scribble

The front door on our 100-year-old house is painted a great shade of red, but there's a big chip out of it. I've been wanting to touch up the spot, but how to get the right paint color? A photo would be way off, and I'm kind of afraid to scrape off another, bigger chip to take to the paint store.

Soon, I -- and all who have color quandaries -- may have a solution. It's called the Scribble and it's a new kind of pen that can sample any color you point it at and then let you draw in that color. There are two types of Scribbles planned: one with an ink cartridge that will let you draw on paper with your captured color, and a stylus version that will let you splash color around on your mobile device's screen when the Scribble+ app is installed.

Both versions will use Bluetooth technology or Micro-USB cables to communicate with your computer and other devices, and will measure about 6.3 inches long. A Scribble pen uses 16-bit color sensors to sample the world and can store up to 100,000 different colors.

The version that draws on paper has a built-in ink cartridge that will squirt the right mix of colors into a mixing chamber before it passes on to the page. The pens themselves will also be available in a variety of body colors, natch.

The inventors of the device, Mark Barker and Robert Hoffman, will soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund their device. Early backers will get 20 percent off the planned price of $149.95 (roughly £89, AU$160) for the ink version and $79.95 (roughly £48, AU$85) for the stylus. Interested individuals can sign up on the Scribble website to be notified of the campaign kickoff by email.

I'd think artists would love a gizmo like this. How cool would it be to paint a flower with a pen that takes the exact colors from nature and puts them down on a piece of paper? For another use, in a press release about the pens, an interior decorator from Boston known mysteriously as "Emily G." says: "This would be the perfect device to help me easily scan and save color samples for client presentations. Being able to quickly match existing colors off walls and swatches with the Scribble Pen is going to be brilliant."

So, how about you? What would you use this power pen for? Let me know in the comments below.

Ink version on the left, stylus on the right. Scribble