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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Pen-hybrid stylus made of magnets

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Andrew Gardner)

We've seen a few hybrid tablet stylus/ballpoint pens kicking around, but the Polar Pen, with its barrel made out of rare earth magnets, takes the absolute biscuit.

Anyone who's ever played with a set of Zen Magnets, or a pair of rattlesnake eggs, knows how mesmerising magnets can be. What if you could have a set of awesome magnets that was also a pen ... that was also a stylus?

Well, say hello to the Polar Pen by Canadian designer Andrew Gardner. Gardner used to often pull apart his pens (who didn't?), and he loves magnets — so he decided to put the two together. The ink cartridge sits inside a series of small, tubular rare earth magnets that click together to form the barrel of the pen. And, if you want to get super fancy, you can also get a stylus tip that sits over the pen's nib.

So, what's the point of a pen made of powerful magnets? Well, sometimes the mind just needs to relax and have a play. "From tool to toy, it will inspire you at work, school or home," Gardner says on his Kickstarter page. "If you enjoy tinkering with things or are fascinated with the power of magnets, then this product is for you. We have found many fun and functional ways of using the Polar Pen, and we are really excited to see what you will come up with."

(Credit: Andrew Gardner)

Based on the videos on the Kickstarter page, it looks like it has endless possibilities — and, before you get concerned about powerful magnets near your iPad, it will have no effect on the SSDs installed in tablets — or your credit card or mobile phone, for that matter.

Because Polar is modular, it comes in several iterations. In fact, for a pledge of just CA$10, you will get two nickel-coated, silver-plated neodymium magnets you can stick on your fridge, plus a cap. The lowestpriced stylus consists of eight magnets and a stylus tip and comes in at CA$30, whereas CA$35 will get you a 12-magnet pen. For the 13-magnet pen/stylus hybrid, you're looking at a pledge of CA$40, all with free shipping — and you can pay a little extra on all tiers to upgrade from high-quality silver to 24K gold-plated magnets.

Each Polar pen comes with a Pilot Hi-tec-C gel-ink cartridge; when this runs out, you can replace it with uni-ball Signo UM-151 or uni-ball Gel Grip refills.

If you're still not sold, watch the video below. Then head over to the Polar Pen Kickstarter page and watch the other videos. What you do after that is on you.


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