This month The Sheaffer Pen Company celebrated its centenary, the…
Learning to write is a challenging time in a child’s life which is full of trial, error and often the time and dedication of several adults too. Innovative parents Falk and Mandy Wolsky gave this whole process much thought whilst helping their own son on his writing journey, and have produced a prototype of a very unique pen design indeed.
Writing tools for children, such as the Lamy school range, generally incorporate features such as a special ergonomic triangular grip area for teaching how best to hold the pen, and a more forgiving nib for unsteady young hands. The Wolskys have built upon these classic features to create an exciting prototype which could change the future of handwriting development.
Pen Meets Technology
The Lernstift pen design is electronic, and uses vibrations to guide the user with their handwriting; the writer’s mistakes cause a vibration within the pen. The prototype has 2 modes: orthography and calligraphy. In orthography mode, the pen provides assistance with spelling and grammar, and in calligraphy mode it assists with the shape and form of letters.
The concept of this pen sounds fantastic – a child using it would possibly learn to write significantly faster than without it, and would probably find it a more fun process too. It also encourages independent learning, with, theoretically, no need for someone to be looking over their shoulder. Alongside its primary use, the pen could be helpful for poor adult spellers too. However, will it actually work?
Will it really work?
I love the idea of the Lernstift pen, but will it be able to live up to expectation? Will the software inside it really always know if your sentence is grammatically correct? Or, know for sure if. for example, you want to write the word ‘type’ or ‘typo’? Will kids be patient enough to use it alone? I can already picture it being thrown across a room in frustration! Then again, I’m sure plenty of standard pens get that treatment too! The vibrations will surely be a challenge for the developers as well; too mild and they may not be noticed, but too strong and they may very well affect the handwriting of the person using the pen!
I am rather excited to see this prototype as a finished product – the first stock should be on sale by this Summer, so we don’t have too long a wait to experience this intriguing writing tool.