Sunday, September 18, 2005

The mind of the Japanese schoolgirl.

Sometimes the customer is flat out unfathomable.

link to original blurb in Wired.

Nanotextiles are hot, but nanotools are hotter among girls in Japan. When Pilot introduced a pen with a ball diameter of 0.3 mm in 1994, it was all the rage with students who write tiny notes between the lines of textbooks. Now Pilot's rival Mitsubishi has released the Uni-ball Signo bit (as in itsy-bitsy). The bit has a ball diameter of 0.18 mm, about the width of two human hairs, and requires a special friction-reducing ink. Mitsubishi has sold 4 million of the $1.75 pens, which come in eight colors. "I use at least three different colors in my diary," 16-year-old Rie says, while shopping at a Tokyo stationery store. "I'd buy more if I had more pocket money."

- Tony McNicol


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