Old tech on new: Kickstarter project Etcher brings Etch A Sketch to the iPad

Old tech on new: Kickstarter project Etcher brings Etch A Sketch to the iPad

Much as we love new technologies, there’s something about nostalgia that is so persuasive that it can cross time and new ideas. This is why we expect the Etcher Kickstarter project to do well.

You’re probably familiar with the old toy that was difficult to master but strangely engaging as you turned two knobs to move a cursor on a screen and make pictures. The original Etch A Sketch required some patience to create anything that didn’t look like a slightly scribbly approximation of anything you wanted to draw.

Etcher is bringing that back, but this time there is a permanence to the creations a user can make. Etcher adds the familiar red cover and functional knobs to the iPad and allows ‘artists’ to save and share their work on social media sites. True to the original, images can be erased when you shake the machine.

The adaptation is being built by Ari Krupnik, Maarten Dinger, Alex Gutierrez and Lee Felsenstein and the team has secured a licence to the Etch A Sketch trademark to continue their work.

As usual, the Kickstarter levels of return for people who donate are varied. For $45, you can be an ‘early adopter’ (which sounds quite funny for an idea as old at the Etch A Sketch, but we see what the team means). Early adopters get an Etcher ahead of other people and at a good price.

For $60, get your Etcher in the original red or blue colours used by the original Etch A Sketch makers. For more than $100 get the Etcher in red, blue or a special edition colour you can choose. For $175, get early access to the SDK and for $360 or more, you can have 10 Etchers, to share with your friends.

You might not be the finest Etch A Sketch artist and it’s possible the engineers of this project are not either. The team is working with Pauline Graziano, a professional Etch A Sketch artist to make sure they have a super-user on board to make Etcher as faithful as possible to the original.

Check out the video to see a time lapse of Graziano’s work. It looks a bit like an ‘Escher sketch’. (We see what they did there…)

As early adopters are now at the age where they can afford to experiment with new items, they were also born at the right time to remember toys from the 80s that bring back good memories. It’s for reasons like this that Etcher may have a hit on their hands and a whole new generation of scratchy drawings could soon be appearing in your social feed.

Hat tip: Wagner James Au

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