By Rob Beschizza at 5:57 am Tue, Jun 2, 2009
Jinsun Park's design for a color-picking pen, hypothetically featuring a sensor and RGB ink tanks, carries well that quiet background hum of "Hmmm. So why doesn't this exist, then?"
Source [Tuvie via RGS]
Just to pick a nit, this would hypothetically need to be filled with CMYK ink tanks, since inks need to be subtractive colors, not additive.
“RGB ink tanks”
For the RGB ink: we already do it on printers. Granted, there’s a huge step to make before it can be translated into a pen.
Another big problem is that a color isn’t just produced by a given surface (such as the leaf), but the light shining on that surface.
As a result, the green seen on the paper under artificial lighting will appear different from the green from the leaf in noonday sun.
And then all the kids will wail and ask Mom why god killed their unicorn 😉
(Hm, but then, the pen would just need another sensor to catch the ambient light and adjust accordingly.)
Backing up from an actual pen with actual ink tanks — why doesn’t Wacom make one of these for use with Photoshop, etc? Point the sensor end of your stylus at a color, Photoshop selects the corresponding value in the color picker, and you does your art on your tablet.
Is it not obvious that the designer, not me, imagines RGB ink tanks?
It is now obvious _after_ you edited it and added the diagram.
Just because it’s ink doesn’t mean it’s reflective. It could be mixing the inks and then passing light through them.
More assumptions fail. 😉
“Hypothetically featuring a sensor and RGB ink tank”
I guess that would be ReadingcomprehensionFail, BMJames.
Beschizza, my nizza, the design says RGB CARTRIDGES, not tanks. I wouldn’t describe something 10cm long x .25 cm diameter as a tank. But I’m quibbling too much over language.
I work in the printing industry (ink chemist) and I can tell you that CMYK printing can’t match a lot of colors – the dyes and pigments available are not pure cyan, magenta, yellow and black, and the best match made by combining them comes out dirty. But that’s really for marketing flunkies and color-match software. For the average user, this pen type of thing could come up with an amazing variety of colors that are very convincing. I could also forsee super cool ideas like random color mixing.
I used to work in pre-press, with an ancient Goss monster: squeezing convincing color out of it was always a nightmare. (But not as much of a nightmare as the rasterizer, which did daily battle with strange fonts.)
Hey, there’s one of these in attached to the paint-mixer in every Home Despot and Lowe’s in the tri-state area. For color-matching yo’ trim, of course, gotta have the carpets match the curtains.
Except, um, it’s HUGE. Like dorm fridge sized.
Wait, I know, we’ll just say that hand is attached to the 50-foot woman, and all is well!
Various chromatic issues aside, the challenge will be in transitioning cleanly from one hue to the next – the ‘dirty’ issue.
Having optically sampled a new color, you must purge the prior color by drawing streaks on scratch paper until the new color is flowing.
Of course, for $20 you can get these (today):
How about a pen that just deposits a layer of colour e-ink dropelets on a surface? Nanobots, the solutions is ALWAYS nanobots! *goes off ranting and pulling hair out crazy-man style*
Shouldn’t the color cartridges be BLUE,YELLOW,RED since RGB only applies with electronic devices and monitors?
The product would also be useful if it gave one a reading of how much red, yellow, and blue pigments are needed in order to achieve a particular color. That way, whenever you come across a color that you want to use as paint, you will know how many parts of each paint you would need in order to get that color.
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