The perfectly balanced pen has arrived.
The team over at Shanpo have created an amazing pen set, and sent me a prototype to check out before they launch on Kickstarter. I also had an opportunity to ask them some direct questions on the design and their team.
Using magnets, the pen stand holds the Hoverpen perfectly vertical. The stand and pen are not as heavy as I expected them to be and the more I look at them, the more it feels like a trick. I feel like the pen should tip over at any minute. My kids still think it is magic, and even though I have experience working with neodymium and ceramic magnets, I kind of feel like that too!
I haven’t ever wanted a pen stand on my desk as I prefer a clean work surface, until now. This is one that I will always want beside me to play with and use. The pen cap clicks onto the base as a holding spot while I use the pen.
Built from only 4 parts (Cap, Body, Refill, and End Cap) the design is very simple. Only the refill is branded in the version I received so there are no visible names or markings on the exterior. The pen weighs a mere 0.53oz (with the cap) and is 5 1/4in long. The ballpoint pen lays down a very fine line and is almost a dark grey color which is rather unique. Anyone writing with a bit of pressure can get a darker line if needed, but the lightweight pen matches the line weight perfectly.
Further, the pen cap magnetically snaps back on with a satisfying “click” and the end cap slides on with such precision that it vacuum seals to hold the cap on tightly.
The version I received to test is similar to that of the aluminum on my apple laptop. From their website it appears there will be four different color choices.
1. How did you come up with the idea of the Hover Pen and how long have you been working on this?
The Founder of Shanpo, David Liang, majored in physics in university, and studied electromagnetism. To him, the electric field and magnetic field are twins. There're so many people put efforts in developing electronic products, but very less people put attention to the magnetic. To us, we think that the pure magnetic fields are very "attractive" (pun intended) and with great potential to bring something new-amazing designs to life. Thus we've been thinking what we can do with magnetic forces. One midnight, it came to David's mind to combine magnets into our daily tool --- the pen. He wanted a very stylish and "attractive" way to stand on the desk. It had to be very stylish, so you can't help but want to pick it up and use it.
We soon made the first prototype of Hoverpen. The way to stand the pen, at that time, was too simple, and we found there was already the same type of pen in the market (horizontally). We didn't want to give up, so we spent a year making tons of prototype with various way to make the pen stand on its own. It wasn't easy, but finally, we cracked it. The Hoverpen was born.
Now the latest Hoverpen allows you to spin it, it's easy to pick up, and the way the pen stands is stylish and unique. A must-have on one's desk.
2. Who is working with you to help design and build the pen?
Shanpo, our brand, was established initially by David Liang and his friend, Wei. Wei was David's classmate from kindergarten all the way to senior-high school, so they grew up together. Wei is an industrial designer. All the visual elements of our products and brand are designed by Wei. Our core value is to create unique products with whole new experiences for grown-ups.
3. What is your personal background in designing and why are you interested in creating this pen?
David majored in physics in university and studied business management in graduate school. Science always fascinated David. However, compared to academic study, he was more passionate about designing unique products that had a bit of mystery to them. He believes that the Hoverpen will amaze people with the magnetic, a natural force of nature. The fact that with the magnets, the Hoverpen can literally stand infinitely, without having to use electricity! David believes that the Hoverpen can literally "attract" people to write with pens again, instead of taking notes with electronic devices.
Let's put down the phone and experience the enchantment of the Hoverpen!
4. Is this your first design project and first time using Kickstarter?
To be honest, this is our second Kickstarter Project. Our first product was a "Stereo Puzzle", a user-friendly DIY speaker series, bringing you fun and functionality. Although the project successfully funded, and was even selected as a "Project we love" by Kickstarter, we didn't put much focus in marketing so it did not raise as much funds as we would have hoped. Equipped with more preparation and more experience this time, we hope to have a much more successful project with the Hoverpen.
5. How long do you anticipate it to take for production and shipping?
After the quantity is confirmed, the estimated time to manufacturing time is 2 to 3 months, and we anticipate to take one months to pack and ship all the packages.
This is a great looking pen stand and is fun to play with while brainstorming. I am excited for the Kickstarter launch and believe this will be a big project. I looked into their first Kickstarter project (a DIY stereo puzzle) and was impressed with their product, but more importantly they have great communication with backers and good solid updates on production. While I didn’t back this, I would have liked to!
I look forward to backing their new project and wish them the best with their Kickstarter launch!