Two California entrepreneurs see the road to riches in a pen promoted as “ergonomically efficient.” The pair, Colin Roche and Bobby Ronsse, launched in July what they claim will be a revolution in writing. They say their wishbone-shaped PenAgain is designed to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and to make writing more comfortable for people with arthritis.
They are not the only pen makers who incorporate ergonomic features to reduce strain and increases comfort and usability, but they are among only a handful who have abandoned the traditional stick form as a means to their end. Most pens sold as ergonomically designed are sticks with padding or with shape modifications.
PenAgain is one of only a few that have abandoned the stick shape in favor of an unusual form promoted as more natural for the human hand.
The PenAgain makers describe their invention as wishbone-shaped, but to others it may look more like a tuning fork or pliers. The index finger slots between the U shape at the tail and rests on the tip. The promotions say the natural weight of the writers hand provides enough pressure to apply ink to the paper. PenAgain is supplied with a PDA stylus insert so it can be used comfortably with handheld computers as well.
As its name suggests, the Ring Pen has a hole in the middle of the instrument for the index finger. The makers say the hole alters the grip and reduces strain and stress on the hand and fingers. They promote the design as particularly helpful for people who have difficulty gripping, for arthritis sufferers, and as an antidote to writer’s cramp and carpal tunnel syndrome. The
Ring Pen reduces fatigue while making writing more rapid and even, according to the makers.
Every few years a writing instrument is invented that represents a design milestone. The fountain pen, propelling pencil and Bic pen are among many. Recent pen designs that look to ergonomics for ways of making writing more comfortable and less painful may mark another milestone.
Sources: PenAgain (UK); Ring Pen; Evo Pen