Elton Leung is launching the world’s first affordable stylus pen for all iPads. Here, he reveals his journey and how, for him, the key to invention lies in problem-solving.

When we refer to the term inventor, most of us would never associate it with fixing appliances, but rather take it to mean creating things from scratch. For Elton Leung, creator of SonarPen and founder of the innovative company, Greenbulb, fixing things actually comes first in his definition. For him, simple innovation is all it takes to solve a problem – and it’s right there that the magic of invention actually lies.


Elton Leung’s mechanical and computer programming education took place during formative years spent between Toronto and Hong Kong. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in Applied Science and Engineering in 1997, he worked for a major hard disk manufacturing business in Hong Kong. It was then that his interest in ergonomics and design was sparked, leading him to establish GreenBulb in 2004, an innovative company turning clever designs into marketable products.

SonarPen, Elton’s latest innovation, is the world’s most affordable smart Stylus pen, designed for use on all iPads. Coming in at US$29.95, as opposed to Apple’s own pencil that retails at US$99, SonarPen is aimed at young designers and creatives, providing a cheaper alternative without compromising on quality and functions.

In line with the newest iPad Pro that came out in 2015, the pen’s pressure-sensing feature enables users to control their stroke naturally, whilst at the same time freely resting their hand on the iPad – meaning they can draw on the iPad with SonarPen as if they were drawing on paper, without worrying about accidental screen touches. Another unique feature is a shortcut button that allows users to quickly switch tools without having to navigate through toolbars and drop-down menus for convenience.


Getting SonarPen to this point did not prove easy. Elton produced over 24 prototypes in the span of 2 years of development. He had major issues with compatibility. He wanted SonarPen to work with a range of drawing apps, and because of this, there were countless tests to be done on each individual app, after which he would have to wait for feedback from the relevant developers, before making the necessary tweaks – all of which took up a lot of time. And aside from that, Elton didn’t have the funds to produce multiple batches of his product. Instead, he had to continuously pitch his idea to both hardware suppliers and app developers, which didn’t always result in a deal.

Still, he persisted – determined that function would come before design and that all the little details would be there. And, by including an abundance of nifty features in his product, he’s not only made sure the focus is all on its capabilities, rather than on what it looks like, he has also created a lower priced item that competes at the top of the market.


Elton says that having a brilliant concept alone is not enough to fund your project, “persuading people to back your work is a form of art. It is not easy.” Designed in Hong Kong and manufactured in China, SonarPen’s Kickstarter campaign is scheduled for the February 6th 2018 and he hopes also to roundup investment in order to write a program driver for Android and Window’s software, which would make SonarPen the most affordable smart pen for all tablets and iPads in the world. As Elton more than proves, being an inventor doesn’t necessarily mean creating ground-breaking products. For him, it’s all about simply finding a solution in response to a problem. Inspired by his hero, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Elton hopes he too can break barriers and provide quality products with limited resources. Well, it didn’t go badly for Steve!