Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Yes, yes I know it's a pen. A simple writing implement forgotten in the onslaught of mobile communications. A tool of a bygone age. A remnant of a time when... hey, am I boring you??
Ok, the pen isn't quite obsolete yet, especially this one. We've seen gadget pens before. Pens that had watches in them. Pens with radios. Pens with video cameras. This particular pen doesn't fall quite into that strata of geekness, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.
Bought in Muji, this is a well made aluminium pen with three functions: Black ball pen, red ball pen and 0.5mm automatic pencil. Despite this, it manages to keep the slim dimentions of a regular pen.
So, another multifunction pen.. ho hum seen it, bought the T-shirt etc... except wait! Hand the pen to some unsuspecting schmuck and feel the inner geek in you glow as you ask them to change it's mode.
You see, the only mechanical parts to the pen are the plunger for pushing out the nib, and a small button that retracts it. The usual nib selectors are missing. How does one change nibs?
Muji stuff doesn't usually come with instructions, and this is no exception. It took me a while to figure out what was happening.
The magic of this pen, and henceforth it's free pass to the gadget hall of fame, is that the mechanism works by gravity.
Hold the pen so that the desired function is facing up, then press the plunger. Lo and behold the nib you want appears. Retract, rotate and try again. Yup, the nib matching the description pops out. Great stuff. The Homer Simpsons among you could lose an afternoon with this thing!
So that's it. A multi-nib pen that uses gravity to pick the nib. Newton would be proud.