Can this pen really draw 16 million colours?

Sometimes technology presents creatives with tools that are so amazing it’s frustrating when they can’t be used in the real world. Take the eye-dropper tool, for example. We’ve already seen how a prototype device can identify printed fonts by scanning them, but wouldn’t it be great if artists could do that with colours? That’s where the Cronzy pen comes in. This unique pen has an experimental design that boldly claims to write in over 16 million colours.

Describing itself as a wonder-pen, Cronzy states it “allows you to write or draw in any colour you like.” It does this thanks to a mechanism based around solenoid valves and an algorithm for mixing colours to a high degree of accuracy. The upshot is a pen that can change colour on demand, depending on what you want to create.

The Cronzy pen can be controlled in two ways. The first is via an app for iOS, Android, and Windows phones. Simply select the desired colour and the pen will change accordingly. The second is innovative scanner. Just point the Cronzy pen at the colour you want to recreate, and the pen will calculate the shade for you.

If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. The Cronzy pen still needs some funding on its Indiegogo page so it can make tweaks to its algorithm and finalise the design. A video showing the prototype in action does look promising, but it’s still a bit clunky. Scanning the colours isn’t quite as slick as their trailer makes out, however it does seem to recreate colours very closely as promised.

It’s an interesting project, but with a huge $200,000 funding target to hit, it remains to be seen if Cronzy will get off the ground.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.