Colors SonarpenColors Live

Last month, we reported on a brand new Kickstarter project for Colors Live, a new entry into the digital art software series that rose to fame on Nintendo 3DS.

The 3DS app was pretty great in its own right, but this latest effort seems to be taking things up a notch, largely thanks to the addition of the Colors SonarPen. The pen allows for pressure-sensitive strokes on your Switch's screen, meaning you can apply different amounts of pressure when drawing just like you would with a real pen, and it does so by plugging into to Switch's audio jack.

As you'll know, the Switch's screen can't understand different levels of pressure when using any ordinary stylus or just your finger, so how exactly does it all work? We'd like to simply say 'magic' because that's what it sounds like, but here's a proper explanation from the app's creator, Jens Andersson, in conversation with the eShop Action Committee podcast:

"It is a half-meter cable that plugs into the audio jack, and technically it pretends to be a headset. So, in Colors, it actually plays a tone through the audio. A tone of about 8000 hertz goes through the cable to the tip of the pen. There is a resistor in there as well that dampens the tone depending on the amount of pressure that is applied to the tip of the pen. This vibration goes back to the Switch through the internal microphone of the pen, which measures the volume of the sound. That calculates the pressure used on the screen. So the touch is recorded by the screen as normal, but the pressure goes through that thing. It is an ingenious idea.

It sounds weird explaining it, but it really works. Elton, the person who created this is really clever and the pen works really well. The precision you get out of it is basically analogue. The levels of precision makes it feel very much like a Wacom pen. It's so cool and there are no batteries in there either. It is durable and fairly cheap to produce. Especially compared to the Apple Pen which is almost a hundred bucks."

At the time of writing, the Colors Live Kickstarter has just three days to go. It's already smashed its near-£13,000 goal, generating almost £100,000 so far.

[source nintendaan.com, via nintendoworldreport.com, gonintendo.com]