Pens, ah yes, I remember them well. In my first job, in a newspaper office in Leeds, I used to take two fresh ballpoints from the stationery cupboard every morning and lose them by the end of the day. I must have used up thousands of the things in the five years I was there. Where did they all go? Even back then – before Douglas Adams had proposed his theory that lost ballpoints end up on their own planet – I imagined they reappeared in a parallel pen universe.
Now Cross has partnered with TrackR, the Californian makers of tiny Bluetooth audio tracking devices, to produce a range of ballpoint pens that are really hard to lose. Mislay a Cross TrackR and you can use a phone app to make it emit a penetrating squeal from several metres distance.
How audibly penetrating is TrackR technology? I had a letter from a reader saying that the standalone TrackR he bought at my recommendation was almost inaudible to him, as he suffered from high-frequency hearing loss. TrackR explained when we forwarded his letter that the find-me tone their devices emit is, indeed, less audible to some than others. So if you are taken by the beautiful Cross TrackR, consider whether you struggle to hear high frequencies before you buy. Losing an unlosable pen would be really irritating.