Skip to main content

Squink: AI Product Ideation for Squid Inspired Pens

Squink: AI Product Ideation for Squid Inspired Pens

By Tojin T. Eapen

We utilized AI tools such as chatGPT and Stable Diffusion to generate concept pens called "Squinks," which are inspired by the appearance and characteristics of the squid. The goal of this project was to explore how AI can be effectively used in the product ideation process.

To begin, we utilized chatGPT to generate descriptions of product concepts. These descriptions were then used as prompts for the text-to-image converter, which created visual representations of the Squinks based on the provided descriptions. This allowed us to systematically generate a wide range of Squinks concepts for analysis and evaluation.

Pens Inspired by Squids

Squids are marine animals that belong to the cephalopod family, which also includes octopuses and cuttlefish. They have soft bodies and are known for their ability to change color and shape rapidly. This ability is due to the presence of pigment cells called chromatophores in their skin which they use to blend in with their surroundings or to communicate with other squids. Squid ink is a dark, viscous substance that is produced by some species of squids. 

When threatened, a squid will release a cloud of ink to obscure the predator's vision and allow the squid to swim away unnoticed. Our goal is to use generative AI techniques to generate ideas for pens that draw from both the shape of the squid and its ability to produce ink. Interestingly, squids also have an organ known as "pen" or gladius that serves as a protection for visceral organs.

Caribbean Reef Squid (Image Source: Betty Wills)

Caribbean Reef Squid (Image Source: Betty Wills)

Despite the common analogy made between squids and pens due to their similar shape and use of ink, it seems that few writing products have actually been directly inspired by the design of the squid. This lack of inspiration from the squid in product design presents us with a good opportunity to test the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology to generate novel design concepts as the images generated are unlikely to be substantially similar to existing products.

Squink: AI Product Ideation for Squid Inspired Pens

The prompt we provided for the creation of Squinks was short and simple: "Generate an image of a squid-inspired pen with a realistic appearance. The pen should have tentacles and use liquid that looks like squid ink." This prompt was used to generate the below designs for the squid-inspired pens using Midjourney and Stable Diffusion.

Squink: AI Product Ideation for Squid Inspired Pens

The prompt was used to guide the AI in generating concepts that were both realistic and imaginative, incorporating both the visual and functional features of the squid. 

Only a small fraction of the concept generated was interesting and potentially useful. Some of these designs are shown in the above video. Of these, we selected 22 promising designs and list them below.

Design #22: Squinkorrigible

Design #21: Squinkology

Design #20: Squinkastic

Design #19: Squinkination

Design #18: Squinkling

Design #17: Squinkivore

Design #16: Squinklops

Design #15: Squinkillumination

Design #14: Squinkright

Design #13: Squinkoloration

Design #12: Squinking

Design #11: Squinkivity

Design #10: Squinkinesis

Design #9: Squinkusical

Design #8: Squinkobulous

Design #7: Squinkquint

Design #6: Squinkomatic

Design #5: Squinkilicious

Design #4: Squinkattitude

Design #3: Squinkimony

Design #2: Squinkinomosis

Design #1: Squinkardinal

This post is part of a series of articles on the use of generative AI for bioinspired product ideation. The use of AI for product concept generation allows for the quick creation of many potentially novel designs, which could then be evaluated and refined to select the most promising concepts to move to the next stage of the product development process.

To learn how leading Fortune Global 500 companies such as ABB, Bosch, Google, Samsung, and NetApp have used Innomantra's Functional Innovation Methodology to turbocharge their idea management process, schedule a meeting today at