Felix, can you give an overview of what Montblanc is about and what you do in the company?
Sure. Montblanc, founded in 1906, commits itself to exquisite craftsmanship in order to create beautiful yet functional writing instruments and other luxury goods. Coming from the innovation of non-leaking fountain pens in the 20th century we have perfected fountain pens and other writing instruments to become true lifetime companions. We are fostering the culture for writing by recognizing not only the beauty and art of handwriting but also the necessity for human progress. As Director of New Technologies, I am responsible to give relevancy to handwriting in a digital world by providing new use cases. To be clear, we do not believe that the digital and analog worlds are competing against each other, but we see it more as an extension and option to our existing products. It is about delighting more people with the power of handwriting.
You mentioned the culture of writing. What does this mean for a digital product?
I believe that writing culture cannot be pinned down to digital vs. analog but is transversal across the categories. Meaning, the notion of for example tactility or writing feeling is not mutually exclusive to each category but must be present, being it in digital or analog, in order to enjoy writing. That said, we are focusing on bringing new writing experiences but still protect the essence of a Montblanc writing instrument. Take for example the Montblanc Augmented Paper: here we protect the idea of how a pen feels on paper and in your hand but extended this with the idea of productivity that comes with digital use cases. Therefore, in digital writing, we need to be extra careful to fulfill the expectations towards a Montblanc writing instrument. There are so many products out there which try to fake the analog writing feeling in digital, and I believe this will not do the job.
We recently visited the Montblanc Haus in Hamburg and experienced the Augmented Paper in the exhibition. Can you tell us a bit more about the Montblanc Haus?
The Montblanc Haus tells the history of Montblanc from its founding days until its presence. It is about all the women and men crafting our writings instruments and about those who leave their mark with it. It is also about educating around the art of writing.
In a nutshell, it is about respecting the past but also celebrating the future. It is more than just about Montblanc, it is about the dedication to writing. Within this setting, we used the Augmented Paper as the connection between the past and the future to create something lasting in this world. A visitor can write a personal note on the Augmented Paper which will be projected as a generative art in the shape of the Montblanc Mountain.
It is something you need to experience yourself, that is why I invite everyone to visit the Montblanc Haus in Hamburg.
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