Real Life Digital Color Picker

Filed in Art / Design / Fashion , Cool , Photography 32 comments
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I would love to have a pen like this which helps me with my photography. Select color and tell your computer later how that color looked like exactly.

I am not sure how exact the color can be with just RGB ink cartridges though. Perhaps CMYK ink cartridges are a better choice.

Color Picker is an innovative design of a concept pen that can scan colors from anything around and instantly use the color for drawing. After placing the pen against an object, the user just presses the scan button. The color is being detected by the color sensor and the RGB cartridge of the pen mixes the required inks to create the target color. This superb device will help people to observe the changing colors of nature. With color picker, all range of artists will be able to create a more sensorial and visual insight of their surrounding nature’s colors.

More info: Color Picker

Interesting Facts

Posted by RGS   @   1 June 2009 32 comments
Tags : , ,
Jun 1, 2009
9:02 pm
#1 Jeremy :

LOL, needs CMYK not RGB.

Jun 1, 2009
10:06 pm
#2 scott :

Interesting idea, but using RGB ink isn’t going to make the correct output. RGB color space is additive in that the colors combine as light to form all colors from black (no light) up to white (100% RGB). The inks would need to be subtractive color pigments. Where the ink removes specific parts of the spectrum from reflected light. Probably the inks would need to be Red, Yellow and Blue or possible Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Google additive and subtractive color theory to learn more.

Jun 2, 2009
4:11 pm
#3 Max Kleinholz :

I forsee a few problems upfront with just the general design…

Printers use Yellow-Magenta-Cyan-Black, and for a reason.
Keep that in mind.

Also, fitting a LED in with the mechanics needed to deliver the exact amounts of color while you write could be a problem.

Without designing a storage cell for the ink, the pen would have to constantly dispense the exact amount of ink and be able to sense how fast or slow you are drawing to avoid fluxuations in the width of the line it produces.

And,how do you keep the ball clean from past colors?
If you opt for an external storage cell for the colored ink you have chosen, how do you keep that clean to avoid mixing past ink residue with fresh batches.

And this pen would comsume ungodly amounts of ink in the process.

Other than that I love the idea and would be among the first to buy a prototype! Sorry if my comment seems negetive, just offering my advice ;]

Jun 2, 2009
5:34 pm

Very nice idea

Jun 2, 2009
5:50 pm
#5 Serena :

Your ink cartridges should be Cyan Magenta Yellow…. RBG doesn’t work with ink. You’d need a program that would convert the RGB color to CMY ink.

Jun 3, 2009
2:08 am
#6 Aaron Heaberlin :

Great idea and hopefully it goes into production.
But, you may want to correct your spelling error of create in your last sentence in the article.

Jun 4, 2009
5:59 am
#7 wildbob :

Just a product that could transmit the color acquired back to your computer, via a USB cord or the like, seems awesome enough. The ability to draw that color in real time seems pretty impossible with the size restraints and problems with ink logistics. But I know I would love to have a little device that could be like a real life eye drop tool.

Jun 4, 2009
7:17 am
#8 Framtonm :

Didn’t this first appear around April 1st?

Jun 4, 2009
8:38 am
#9 Tshirt :

This would make a better airbrush than a pen… and as people have said CMY.

Jun 4, 2009
10:35 am
#10 Gareth :

This is an interesting concept. It would be very very difficult to make work as a pen, but as a portable airbrush it would be perfect, no roller ball to clean when changing colour, and the problem with lightness would be solved by application. That being said, you’d then still have to judge by eye to get the colour perfect. I guess that’s the sacrifice you’d need to make it viable.

Jun 6, 2009
6:56 am
#11 monty :

this idea is stupid.
first RGB is a color system that can only be used on the computer screen and not in “the real world”.
second there is really no problem in fining the aczact value of a color and reproducing it…

Jun 6, 2009
10:05 am

It must be a fake because it won’t work with Red, Green, Blue (RGB) colours – these are the primary colours of light. It must instead be Cyan, Megenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) – these are the primary colours of reflected light (what is required for printing).

Jun 6, 2009
12:34 pm
#13 Bekleidung :

thats a really nice idea,
But i dont think it could become reallty very soon,
This could’n even be real!, the color are RGB and when you paint all colors are CMYK its impossible,

Jun 6, 2009
1:07 pm
#14 Canapial :

Yeah, sorry but I gotta agree with the rest, while the idea is pretty good, the RGB thing is full frontal fail…

Jun 8, 2009
1:26 pm
#15 brad :

lol @ the people saying RGB won’t work. You are aware that up until around the early 90s RGB was fairly standard in printers right? There is still a lot of RGB printers in use today.

BTW all colors are additive when you’re dealing with paint or ink.

You guys crack me up.

Jun 8, 2009
2:45 pm
#16 scott :

Brad – You are retarded. There are no RGB printers… do us all a favor and go read some articles in wiki about color theory. There are two models of color creation- additive for light based color creation and subtractive for pigment based systems.

Next time do some research before you mock people who know things you obviously don’t.

Jun 14, 2009
6:53 pm
#17 BDKX :

Everyone is stuck with the RGB/CMYK thing, i think the problems don’t lay there. For example nobody cares about the fact that when you place this picker over the object you want to detect you’re shadowing it, which turns every color to almost black.
Great idea anyway. Maybe one day it’ll be done.

Jun 15, 2009
4:44 pm
#18 Bruno :

That’s amazing to be able to output RBG colors onto paper with a pen design that’s so small.

Jun 16, 2009
12:07 pm
#19 RatsApo :

Yes, there are some problems. But the idea is really nice.
If this would be become reality I would get such a thing.

Jun 20, 2009
1:34 am
#20 LIsa :

I see lots of comments from people saying it shouldn’t be RGB – why the are the sensor chips in cameras rgb? and have you tried converting a photo from rgb ( which is it’s original colour format) to cymk? Most times it looks awful – A cymk printer can print out an rgb photo no problems if you configure your resources correctly. Just a thought.

Jun 20, 2009
9:42 am
#21 Ekdor :

Aside from the RGB “Typo”, the idea stated directly under the bottom image sounds a little more doable and in my world a little more useful. I’m referring specificity to “I would love to have a pen like this which helps me with my photography. Select color and tell your computer later how that color looked like exactly.”

There would still be some issues already related to scanning such as colour calibration, management, etc.

For this to be useful to an artist they would require samples of colour they want all around them.

Still an interesting concept.

Jun 23, 2009
7:52 pm
#22 pepepaco :

why not RGB? its true u wont get 16,000 colors but, i can think some, for example, red,green,blue… inst that enough? brown, purple…not?

then buy 16,000 pens and carry them in your back if you really need them….

Jun 26, 2009
6:22 pm
#23 Joey :

I think that people should stop complaining and actually wait until it has come out to judge it! It is not very fair otherwise and you never know-rgb might acutally work! You dont all know how it is going to turn out unless you acutally test it!

Jun 29, 2009
2:00 pm
#24 scott :


RGB ink will never work, unless you have some way of changing the physical properties of the cosmos.

Aug 4, 2009
8:45 am
#25 Youp :


All your life you will meet idiots. Many of whom break physics everyday when no one is watching. Do not question these people. Simply accept that you cannot be one of them, and move on.

Oct 7, 2009
1:02 am
#26 Michael :

It would be a great device for digital artists to capture colors from their everyday life walking around and then loading them into Photoshop or whatever program they use. The “pen” could be the stylus for a graphics tablet.

Mar 13, 2010
2:02 am
#27 James M :

I could see the RGB if it interacted with say a WACCOM tablet. I think in terms of total Colour Gamut, you just wouldn’t be able to even use standard 4 color process ink (CMYK) for example, you couldn’t reproduce an Orange (Magenta has too much blue in it) so it would have to be a multi ink colour system like High end printers (8 to 12 color inks) in order to produce the widest gamut of colours possible. The quantity of ink for a 12 color cartridge in a pen wouldn’t be practical nor really feasable. I think that this as a tip for a connected ink system/air supply for an airbrush would be great. And yes the light/shadow issue of the pen would have to be considered (perhaps a 5 second averaging select) and you would have to be able to calibrate it’s whit point value. So in the end, probably very expensive. Now as an accessory for a WACCOM tablet, much bheaper and easier to go from prototype to design. Pass it to Art Lebedev :)

Mar 18, 2010
8:41 pm
#28 Lorenzo :

lol why RGB?

Red Green Blue is the standard color set for monitors.
It should be CMYK :)

nice concept tho. Keep on dreaming! :)

Jan 19, 2012
10:28 pm
#29 Actually designer :

Magenta has to much blue in it? really?

As someone who has actually printer something. I can can say with 100% accuracy that you can in fact yield orange from a CMYK printer. (someone please produce a link to a RGB? printer)

Yes you could use a RGB printer. but you would severely limit your color choices. lol

Stop pretending to be an expert when you’re not.

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