Co.Design

Another Kickstarter Record? Scott Wilson's LunaTik Pen Works On Both Paper And Tablets

A exclusive first look at the LunaTik Touch Pen, which integrates a rollerball into the stylus tip, allowing users to express themselves in ink and pixels.

Last November, Scott Wilson turned to Kickstarter to gin up enough cash to produce his TikTok and LunaTik wristbands, which turn the iPod Nano into a sleek, wearable watch. Co.Design broke the story, and the rest, as they say, is history: The designer raised about $1 million, exceeding his own expectations and breaking Kickstarter records for speed and amount of funding. Suddenly, retailers came calling, even Apple, which had passed on Wilson’s original proposal. Wilson’s astounding success has left many wondering what he’d come up with next. Now we know: a dual-mode pen that travels seamlessly from paper to touch screen.

Last time around, Wilson launched the product as a solo project, making the Kickstarter video by himself on a quiet Sunday. This time, he involved his Chicago-based studio, Minimal, from the outset. “I wanted them to have the experience of doing it, of learning how to do this stuff,” he says. “It’s amazing how much more effort it takes, the more people who get involved.” But he says that including more players also means that the “fidelity is better.”

The LunaTik Touch Pen is the first stylus with a pen integrated into its tip. “We work between Moleskins and the iPad quite a bit and have to juggle having a stylus and a pen,” Wilson says. “It was, like, ‘Why don’t we just combine them?’ And then we were like, ‘Well, why hasn’t anyone combined them?” To his surprise, although there are plenty of writing utensils with a pen on one end and a stylus on the other, none has a ballpoint that extends through the rubber nib of the stylus. Once he figured out the material science and mechanics that would achieve the right amount of conductivity for a touch screen, Wilson submitted a patent for the design.

The pen has all of the subtle, refined touches we’ve come to expect from Wilson, who has provided creative services for such companies as Nike, Microsoft, Google, and Steelcase. The body, made from aircraft-grade aluminum (although a plastic version is available as well), houses a gel-ink rollerball cartridge (which can be replaced with readily available refills), and the silicone tip has been calibrated to glide smoothly across a touch screen.

Wilson and his team are launching the pen on Kickstarter today with the hope of raising $75K in two months. That will give them enough time to work out the remaining kinks and update their supporters along the way, because, Wilson says, “one of the things we learned from the first time around was that people really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes journey.”

A $30 pledge buys a plastic two-pack or one silver aluminum pen; check out Kickstarter for additional pledge levels and offerings.

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16 Comments

  • VegasEng

    Vegas team is interested, but needs removable stylus ends for fat or fine tablet imprints.   We are actively looking for a classy fine point stylus that feels like a fat fingered gel pen with the pinpoint tablet feel of a No 7 point.

  • Xxxrum

    Great idea but I have a Bamboo pen And tip keeps getting dirty in my pocket brushing up against other stuff there..
    Please think of a model with a pull off/ screw cap like the Japanese roller ball pens (I use a Uniball 0.7 mm Vision Elite Blue black) yu like so much ..

  • Harryb

    More landfill waste? a compromised product as the silicon tiped styluses are a half way house until a pressure sensitive pen is released for tablets or a wacom screen cover for a tablet. It's nothing special and that's the problem, very safe a gimmicky. fingers are the best for stylus's until Wacom licenses their firmware.

    For all it's worth is the LunaTik brand just another accessories brand for apple, even the watch face is an after thought (amazing they haven't been given a cease an desist order from apple for the ipod nano form factor) 

  • lindsay1988

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  • ttnava

    My first thought was - Is there a real need for this? No really,  is there? Great job on the presentation video but the amount of value (convenience) vs cost is not justifiable in my eyes. Any real design work would need to be cranked out on the worksation or Wacom anyway, not on a tablet. How about a design that makes it easier to carry (integrated with tablet or cover somehow) since there's a huge chance it will be lost. I've lost many stylus' from my old palms and sony ericssons, and they have specific stylus slots in the body of the device. As a designer myself, I want to like it but just can't...maybe I'm missing something here

  • BongBong

    This product is an exercise in unnecessary engineering. Just do as I said. :)

    The real issue at this point is probably that patents have been applied for that cover all of the more practical alternatives.

  • BongBong

    I'd prefer a pen on one side and an iPad friendly stylus on the other. Why risk ink ending up on the iPad surface?

  • JamesHoward

    So this is primarily an iPad accessory? find the Wacom Inkling far more impressive and natural rather than sketching twice. Merits to each though and this will be a damn site cheaper.

  • Gadget4Apple

    I don't know about the us market yet have a few words about the price from the European market's point of view.

    With a techy touch on it and a good story to tell, this may be able to sell as $15 for a plastic version. Yet for the real design geek, they won't settle for a piece of plastic. Other issues are shipping and VAT. If this has other markets in mind but not just the US domestic market, it will need some adjustment on price. 

    Other than that, it's awesome. Thanks for coming so long in designing such a fine product.

  • Wolcotter

    This is going to be fun to watch. If it amasses six figure success it'll be due to some damn good marketing/exposure is my call (he's 40% there upon writing). Not at all knocking design, just bringing to light that the stylus market is super, super niche. 

  • justin ┬──┬ ¯\_(ツ)

    @Graham - Wacom uses magnets in determining your position on their tablets. Same reason sliding your fingers across it does nothing, and why your Wacom stylus does nothing on a tablet/ipad - it's not the same technology.

  • GlutenFreePDX

    Curious if Scott Wilson will accrue as much money this time around, or if people will see him as financially successful enough to go-it alone. 

  • Graham

    Echo Matt

    + 30 dollars? I think that's way off. I'll check back when the price is set at a reasonable price. I also don't know if this will work with my Bamboo stylus.