Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

Nuka’s new ‘eternal’ paper and pencils will last a lifetime

Both products, a smart notebook with water-resistant paper and a pencil with a metal tip, can last forever

Whether you’re trying to ensure your purchases are more mindful of the environment, or are prone to writer’s block that leads to crumpled balls of paper and writing instruments flung across the room, Nuka may have just the solution for you: an indestructible notebook and a never-ending pencil.

The “eternal” stationery brand is the brainchild of three young entrepreneurs, Eugene Shylo, 20, and Katya Michalko and Nikita Vladykin, who are both 17. The trio have created a smart notebook that you can rewrite on countless times. Its water-resistant pages need simply be wiped down with an antiseptic solution to look as good as new, and the paper is almost impossible to tear. The heavy-duty material is not derived from trees, which adds a sustainable feature to the notebook.

The pencil, meanwhile, never runs out and will never be victim to broken lead. Its metal tip is made of anodised aluminium, which oxidises when it comes in contact with paper. This inkless technology also means your text will never blur, nor will the pencil ever require sharpening; simply press harder for thicker lines and lightly for thinner.

Nuka products are designed to withstand extreme conditions such as rain, sub-zero temperatures and near-­vacuum surroundings. To validate these claims, the team conducted its own space mission, sending its stationery into the stratosphere. The two-hour balloon journey, which was filmed, proved a win for the entrepreneurs.

The anodised aluminium pencil tip oxidises in contact with paper
The anodised aluminium pencil tip oxidises in contact with paper

“We believe our stationery is perfect for space usage. Ten pencils reached the dizzy height of 100,000 feet and descended to Earth … flawlessly,” says Nuka chief executive Vladykin. In fact, the trio are fascinated by the timelessness of space, and the word Nuka, too, is a contraction of the name of a star.

“Nuka was not born coincidentally. We used a wide range of notebooks and pencils in our everyday life, and saw their problems and lack of durability. That’s where the idea of creating stationery that could change the industry came from,” says Vladykin.

The co-founders, who describe themselves as “old fans of stationery”, say on Instagram: “One day we had a dream to invent one complete solution for people like us to be able to use one notebook and one pencil all their life. We persevered for two years to make our dream come true. We found partners who are also dreamers and, together, we did it.”

Nuka was not born coincidentally. We used a wide range of notebooks and pencils in our everyday life, and saw their problems and lack of durability.

Nikita Vladykin

Backing the innovative team is Concepter, a hardware start-up from San Francisco that aims to build experiences around technology. Through its Product Idea Accelerator, Concepter helps innovators develop breakthrough products from concept to manufacturing. Some other ideas it has supported include SolarGaps, solar-powered blinds that help reduce energy bills; and a charging station called Wyrex, which is capable of powering four Qi-powered devices simultaneously.

Nuka’s set of two products is available on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, from $59 (Dh216). The stationery maker has raised $40,000 in investments so far and has been valued at $1 million. Next on Nuka’s horizons: an application to help synchronise with smart devices under the Android and Apple ecosystem is already under construction, whereby a simple picture scan and upload will digitise the written word and make it accessible through the cloud.

Updated: April 1, 2019 08:02 PM

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