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New Pens are for More than Just Writing

by on February 12, 2014

With innovations flooding our world, keeping up can be incredibly difficult. When you’re pondering the latest and greatest, pens may not be the first thing that comes to mind. For most of us, it’s a simple writing utensil. These days, though, pens are doing more than taking notes during a meeting.

One article I stumbled upon discussed a pen that appears to work like Spell Check on your computer, vibrating when you make a mistake. Or, how about a WorldPenScan BT that will scan printed text and translate it into another language? Both of these options could be helpful in the library world, but a couple new pens might just help make your library.

At this point, we’re all familiar with 3D printers, and the great possibilities they provide people for fabrication. Recently, I heard about a 3D pen, the 3Doodler. Similar to a printer, the pen manipulates plastic so the user can create different shapes. Unlike the printer, the pen allows for the user to fully take charge of their creation. Think of it like a hot glue gun with plastic that you use to draw in three dimensions. The creators of this pen used Kickstarter to find backers. One of the ways they enticed people to be interested in helping fund the project was by finding artists who could create sculptures using the pens. Some of the beautiful pieces are on the 3Doodler blog.

Another cool new invention is a pen that can be used to create electric circuits. A variety of options for pens and inks have been developed, like Bare Pens and Paint. Another choice with conductive ink will hopefully be available soon: the Circuit Scribe, a simple roller ball pen, from Electroninks. At the end of 2013, they also had a Kickstarter campaign, which exceeded its goal before the end of their timeline. The company wants to appeal to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) educators and programs, as well as the maker culture.

Seeing all these new and exciting things coming out of such a seemingly simple tool gives a sense of excitement for what will happen next, especially in cases where the innovations are more easily accessible as far as price point.

  1. Ungerleider, Neal. “Today’s Most Creative People: The Makers Of A Pen That Vibrates When You Make A Mistake.”  FastCompany.com. July 17, 2013. (accessed December 19, 2013).
  2. The 3Doodler Team. “Etsy Artist Update: Ruth.” The3Doodler.com. October 23, 2013, (accessed December 19, 2013).
  3. Dodson, Don. “Ink-credible Response for Electronic-Circuit Pen.” The News Gazette. December 8, 2013. (accessed December 19, 2013).

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