As someone who is fascinated by technology, when I first heard about Scribit I was naturally keen to understand more. Pitched as the world’s first write and erase robot, it looks like a fascinating piece of kit that seemed to open up a world of creative possibilities. So what better way to find out the finer details on this unique product than to catch up with this young start-up’s CMO, Andrea Baldereschi.
So in a sentence, what is Scribit?
“In a sentence, Scribit is your very own, personal drawing robot that responds to your instructions via our bespoke app and creates almost anything that your mind can conceive.”
How did the concept of Scribit first come to fruition?
“Scribit comes with some pretty impressive credentials. It was originally designed as a concept by the influential Carlo Ratti, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Senseable City Laboratory and founder of the Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) innovation and design studio. He showcased the idea back in 2015 for an installation he designed in Milan.
“Scribit, which means “s/he writes” in Latin, stems from a long investigation of writing machines developed at CRA’s practice. This includes the installation OSARCH at the 2011 Istanbul Design Biennale, the façade of the Future Food District at Milan’s World Expo 2015 (selected by Guinness World Records as the largest image ever plotted) – and, more recently, UFO-Urban Flying Opera, a project in which a fleet of painting drones is employed to draw a collectively-sourced image. Scribit was unveiled in Milan, Italy on 16 April 2018, during Salone del Mobile – the world’s leading design event. A subsequent crowdfunding campaign was started on 5 June 2018.”
Some impressive background facts but what were the main motivations behind the system?
“Bringing art to people, in their every-day lives, on their walls, in their offices, etc. Stimulating the creative instinct and letting people enjoy the meditative process of creating art, art that transcends the traditional boundaries and the space of the gallery. Art that is created in a slow way, in line with the best tradition of the analogue masterpieces, as an opposition to the “fast” culture of today, art that is about less pixels but more enjoyment.”
Art and technology are slowly becoming more closely linked but how long did the development of this product take?
“The development took 18 months in total, however it should be viewed as a continuous process, as we are still refining and upgrading many aspects of Scribit.”
How successful was the funding project to make the idea a reality?
“At the end of our Kickstarter campaign the total sum raised exceeded USD 1.6 million, ranking Scribit’s campaign among Kickstarter’s 150 most successful campaigns ever. Upon finalizing it, we saw Indiegogo with their InDemand platform as a natural continuation to popularizing Scribit and cultivating a community of very involved backers. To date, the collected sum from both platforms amounts to 2,379,331 USD, which in purely financial terms renders the funding campaigns that we did extremely successful.
What areas were you initially targeting the product for?
“Scribit is really versatile and we believe that it can be used practically in many areas – limited only by your imagination – as it adds value and originality to any activity or enterprise that uses and displays it.”
When does Scribit become officially available?
“Scribit’s official launch on the market is yet to come – it is expected to happen this month [March 2019].”
How fast does the system draw?
“Currently, Scribit moves at 700 mm/min but we are working on improving this significantly.”
Can it work on any surface?
“The surface needs to be a vertical one. An important prerequisite is also, that the texture is smooth enough for the tip of the marker to follow it, without big drops where the tip would lose contact. In general, Scribit can draw on any vertical surface: standard plaster, whiteboards and glass all provide the perfect canvas.”
Is there a specially developed ink that allows for an image to be erased after it has been drawn?
“The ink is specially developed by us and included in our Scribit Erasable Markers.”
Where do you see this product making significant improvements?
“We believe that Scribit would be the preferred innovation with art and tech lovers who are eager to have a new piece of art on their wall every day; Small and medium businesses owners are also expected to greatly benefit from using Scribit in terms of new outlets to interact with their clients. Individuals and organizations occupied in the sphere of education (lecturers, students, museums, tech and innovation galleries) will be able to explore new and stimulating ways of teaching and learning.”
Does the product have any specific requirements?
“Scribit can currently only be used indoors. It also needs a stable and private Wi-Fi connection.”
How many people are in the company?
“For the time being 14, but we are constantly growing as a business.”
Where are you based?
“In the heart of Torino, Italy.”
What are your aspirations for the product going forward?
“We have big plans for the organisation. After Scribit goes mass production in 2019, we are already looking to 2020 to initiate various distribution channels and drop-shop collaborations.
“Of course, our aspirations are for global penetration. Our ambitions are also spanning constant and continuous improvements of the device and its performance, based on the feedback from user experiences.”
Scribit could be one of the most exciting and innovative drawing tools to hit the market this year and if they get the marketing right it could be set to meet all of Andrea’s – and the wider company’s – ambitions.
If you would like more information on Scribit then visit the company’s website here.