Have you ever felt compelled to create 8-bit style pixel art without the help of software or an expensive laptop? Or perhaps you’re just a little nostalgic for the days of shaking your brick-red Etch A Sketch until your freestyle line drawing disappeared from memory.
Enter Divoom’s Pixel Factory: a drawing board in the grand style of Etch A Sketch with all the modern furnishings needed to make the process easy and fun. “Let’s draw the world view of NES that dads and mothers, grandpas and grandmas were crazy about,” the Pixel Factory website reads.
Pixel Factory is a relatively uncomplicated piece of tech by contemporary standards — and that’s where its greatest success lies.
Every color you can think of — Pixel Factory might be built on just a few simple control mechanisms, but the combinations thereof for your creations are basically endless.
That’s largely thanks to the drawing board’s color wheel, which can be rotated minute degrees to choose your color down to the shade. Then you can tap or drag your finger on the device’s touchscreen to draw with the selected color. The Etch A Sketch’s clunky dials are no match for how easy it is to create on the Pixel Factory.
Animate, too — Maybe the most innovative Pixel Factory feature, though, is its ability to create smooth animations. Take as long as you need drawing one frame and then click over to the next and the next and the next.
The device can keep track of and save anywhere from two to 60 frames, which is really enough to tell a short story, even.
And Bluetooth, of course — No more shaking required to move onto your next big art project — the Pixel Factory comes equipped with Bluetooth to transfer your drawings and animations right to your phone. Divoom even has an app where you can create a profile and display your pixel art in a virtual gallery, or on one of Divoom's LED-panel clad speakers.
Pixel Factory has the potential to be a huge hit with kids and adults alike if Divoom, the device’s creators, are able to mass-produce it. The company’s last LED-panel speaker, called the AuraBox, became popular enough in North America that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) once carried it in its famous Design Store.
Right now you can reserve a Pixel Factory for 15,800 yen (approximately $150) plus shipping, with general sales expected to open up on July 14.