To many, Japan seems like a technological wonderland that’s at least a couple of decades ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to innovation. That even applies to something as seemingly mundane as office supplies, as is evident by this new see-through eraser that enhances precision by providing an unobstructed view of what’s actually being erased.
Transparent erasers aren’t a new idea, I can remember excitedly buying them in a rainbow of bright colors while prepping for school to start one year. But the dream quickly turned into a nightmare when I discovered the erasers were better at shredding paper than actually removing pencil marks. Seed, a Japanese company who’s been manufacturing erasers for over 50 years, set itself to the task of developing an eraser compound that was not only see-through but also soft enough to erase marks on paper as effectively as those traditional blocks of pink rubber do.
According to a Seed representative who spoke to a reporter at Japan’s FNN Prime, it required five years of research and development to perfect the recipe for the company’s new Clear Radar eraser that delivers the best of both worlds in terms of performance and transparency. Now is it as transparent as a window? As you can see in product shots and the company’s promotional video, there’s a bit of cloudiness thanks to a light powder coating that’s applied at the end of production to prevent the erasers from all sticking to each other as they roll off the assembly line. The company also points out that over time dirt and other debris may further cloud the eraser, but it should still remain transparent enough to allow users to more accurately see what they’re actually erasing.
Is it overkill? It depends on who you ask. It’s doubtful that a five-year-old learning to print demands such precision when erasing their mistakes, but artists, particularly those working on detailed or technical imagery, will undoubtedly appreciate the feature. And with a price tag of around $1.40 for a large version of the Clear Radar, and around 90 cents for a smaller one, Seed isn’t charging an inflated premium for this innovation, so why wouldn’t you upgrade?