More than 10 million people have downloaded Paper, an inventive design app developed by US startup FiftyThree. Now the company is launching its companion accessory, Pencil, in Europe.
The device – a sleek stylus that comes in a choice of walnut or graphite versions – was released in the US in November 2013, but will now also be available in the UK, France and Germany through a distribution deal with Amazon.
The stylus can be used to scribble on the iPad’s touchscreen when using Paper, but also flipped upside down to be used as a digital rubber – the app recognises which end of the device is touching the screen and reacts accordingly.
Paper can also tell the difference between the Pencil stylus and the hand of the person using it, to ensure they can rest their hand on the screen while drawing without creating palm-sized smudges.
FiftyThree has not said how many Pencils it has sold in the US, although it claims customers include entrepreneurs, fashion designers, teachers and filmmakers. The device will cost £49.99 and £64.99 – graphite is the pricier model – in the UK.
“To date, over 100m designs have been made in Paper and the app has over 10m downloads,” said FiftyThree’s chief executive Georg Petschnigg. “We think anyone can be creative, and for us, Pencil is the most accessible and expressive accessory for this.”
A useful tool for tablet scribblers of all stripes, or an expensive novelty that can only be used with one app? Pencil is likely to divide opinion.