Mobile Devices

November 20, 2013

FiftyThree Unveils a Pencil to Go With Its Paper

FiftyThree, the tech startup who launched the popular iPad creativity app Paper, has delivered a new product to tablet users. This time, in what may be perceived as a sharp turn for the firm, it's delivering hardware. The company has unveiled Pencil, a stylus that, wouldn't you know it, looks and acts a lot like a pencil. It goes hand in hand (or pencil in hand, if you will) with FiftyThree's star app, Paper.

(And to think not so very long ago we were using actual pencils and paper!)

Pencil, as TechCrunch's Ryan Lawler explains, allows Paper users to have better control over what they're creating on the electronic canvas. The Bluetooth-enabled stylus interacts with the app after a quick “kiss-to-pair” connection, which allows users to start drawing. When connected, the app automatically eradicates movements onto the pad that are not from the stylus, so that users can draw without interruption from their palms. Pencil also sports the most important feature of any pencil: an eraser. 

Pencil is about a half-inch thicker than your average No. 2 lead pencil and is available in two styles at two prices. For $49.95, you can get the "Graphite" version, which is made from brushed aluminum. For ten dollars more you can get the slightly fancier version, "Walnut," which is made from sustainable Wisconsin hardwood and more reminiscent of a tangible pencil of yesteryear. Another characteristic of the Pencil that may have users charmed is that when touched to the Paper for syncing, a visual effect that looks like the sharpening of the tip of the stylus swirls on the screen.

Commenting on FiftyThree's foray into the hardware field of the tech market, co-founder Andrew Allen suggests that the firm has always been inclined toward such products.

“From the beginning, we formed the company around software, hardware, and Web services,” says Allen. “Even before we released Paper, we were working on hardware.”

The company was founded in 2011 and has offices in Seattle and New York City. 

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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