It's been tried before, but why not try again? Tatze is an Austrian company who've ditched traditional pedal bearings and bushings in favor of having them integrated into their own crankarms. Without needing to squeeze an axle and bearings into the pedal body, they can make it extremely thin: It's just 3mm tall before growing to 9mm up against the crank. The obvious benefit is more ground clearance, but you're also less likely to 'roll and pedal' underfoot.
The two sealed bearings can be much, much larger when they don't need to fit into the pedal, so they should last longer, too.
Two large sealed bearings fit into a socket, and that threads into the crankarm.
The bearings sit in a socket that's then threaded into Tatze's own cranks, and a bolt threaded in from the opposite side attaches the pedal body. Tatze is claiming some low weights: Just 85-grams per pedal for the aluminum version, 100-grams for the titanium model, and only 150-grams for the steel pedals. Platform size is 112mm x 109mm, and the pins thread through the pedal to do double duty on both sides.
Look familiar? There have been a few variations of this idea over the years, the most notable being Momentum's FlyPaper pedals. They required a proprietary set of cranks, which kept the FlyPaper pedals from ever being widely used. Tioga also did a version
that saw the bearings sit outside the crankarm, letting you use whatever crankset you want. They didn't stick, either, partly due to the wide Q-factor.
Tatze's Blade pedal is just 3mm tall (or thin?) for most of its width, and 9mm up against the crank.
Who isn't tired of micro-sized pedal bearings dying too quickly? Unfortunately, proprietary cranks will likely keep it from ever being widely used. Here's hoping Tatze sees some success, even if it'll probably take one of the big companies investing in the idea to make it stick around. It makes too much sense not to.