Co.Design

iTypewriter: Yes, It's An iPad Typewriter

Because if Apple can’t figure out iPad typing, we’re going to take some extreme measures.

Some say typewriters ruined writing, making it too impulsive. Others insist the word processor really did it in, making it too editable (and thereby even more impulsive). But as a writer, for whatever my flimsy badge be worth, I think it’s pretty clear that the iPad (and iPhone) ruined writing, as every ducking word that I type comes out wrong.

So maybe it’s fitting that Austin Yang designed the iTypewriter--a real, functioning typewriter that strikes its hammers right against the iPad’s Gorilla Glass keyboard instead of paper.

It’s all part of Yang’s obsession with “renovating” vintage equipment for modern day use. (His other uncompleted projects include a turntable and telephone.) But this isn’t a flea market hack; Yang designed the iTypewriter as a 3-D model, then passed it along to a Taiwanese prototyping factory to produce. The assembly itself took a month of tweaks--and that’s just on the working model you see here, which is actually Yang’s fourth attempt to build a working iPad typewriter.

He admits that the iTypewriter doesn’t solve any particular design problem (though, in a sense, it does solve the iPad’s horrific typing woes, if in a bulky, backwards manner). But that probably won’t stop it from being a massive success when it reaches Kickstarter in the coming days or weeks.

Because let’s just be honest, if Kickstarters could choose between developing a $1 refrigerator-free AIDS vaccine or the world’s most overwrought iOS novelty product, they’ll go with the novelty product every time. (That is, unless the AIDS vaccine were administered from an iPhone case, or something, and even then it’d be close.)

[Hat tip: Gadget Box]

Add New Comment

36 Comments

  • Gina LoBiondo

    @Dom Barlow -- This chick has no idea how to type and has probably never used an "old fashioned" typewriter in her life.  She didn't even know where the keys were!!!!!  I don't have an iPad, but I don't think I'd want this anyway!  Too clunky for me!!!!!  ;-)

  • Foamy16

    How do I get an iTypewriter??? My dad thinks it's the coolest freaking thing so I was thinking it would be an awesome Christmas present! :)

  • Dom Barlow

    Seems to lack the speed at which I've seen actual typewriters to work, rendering the entire concept pointless if you ask me.

    Either that or the person typing either has never handled a typewriter before or is desperately trying not to damage the iPad by hammering the keys (both equally possible). Either way, it's clearly not really designed for the kind of applications the Typewriter was, and it seems this mix of technological eras has none of the advantages of either.

  • Customtextiles203

    The hammer typewriter was designed with scrambled letters to SLOW the human interface down so the keys wouldn't get tangled.  The brain is more advanced than the technology from the turn of the last century.  Let's not keep dumming down our equipment.

  • John

    Your writing and article is atrocious to say the least, but the last paragraph is truly special. As a 'note', why not take more time to think, study and formulate an opinion on topic and of value to yourself let alone your audience - but I suppose that isn't the intention here. Your logic and 'wit' extebds to: '$1 refrigerator-free AIDS vaccine' common, you can do better, or maybe asking for to much?

  • Oshsan

    'extebds'? 'asking for to much'? Dude! How'd you get your hands on the iTypewriter before release?

  • Stephen Tiano

    I guess you just want comments, else the poorly thought out piece. Editing makes writing more impulsive? How silly are you? Editing allows reflection and even an objective eye to improve otherwise impulsive writing. Oy. Anyone can blog, and now see another one of the ridiculous possibilities in that.

    Stephen Tiano, Book Designer

  • Oshsan

    I think what he is saying is that the ability to easily edit what you've written makes you less careful - i.e., more impulsive - about what you write in the first place. Because on screen text can so easily be fixed if you screw up, without wasting ink and paper. For example, if you had taken the time to write your response out by hand on paper, you might have thought better of it by the time you were done!

  • Joseph Cimini

    Dreadful, idiotic fluff! Both the typewriter and the article. As someone earlier commenter, more junk for the landfill.

  • Maddy

    Already been said, but needs to be said again, why on earth would you not use a qwerty keyboard design? Having the space bar as a singular key like that is a total failure in design. Why, oh why?

  • Tania

    They could have at least used a person that can touch type. Although the concept in itself isn't all that bad, its just too painful to watch.

  • Rachel

    Can I just say that video made the typewriter look painful to use. Is it me or was what he typed rife with terrible grammar? A little background would have helped.

  • Markinfran

    when i first read the AIDS reference it thought he was referring to a real kickstarter project that was underfunded. now i'm realizing it's a joke--very bad form.

    speaking of bad form, where is the space bar?