Monkey sitting at a desk with a typewriter

This is the classic image I think of when thinking about a typewriter. It has been a while since I have seen a typewriter, let alone used a typewriter. The funny part is that those machines were things of beauty in their time. This elegantly crafted, although now referred to as clunky machine, was a staple invention in the history of humans. But this was no easy feat. In fact, historians estimate that the typewriter was invented at least fifty-two times.


iTypewriter – Mechanical typewriter for iPad

Well young inventor/artist Austin Yang (Meng-Ju) has reinvented it again! He has created the iTypewriter, a mechanical typewriter that attaches to the iPad for physical typing… and no, it’s surprisingly not through Bluetooth. Each key you press on this typewriter actually activates an armed lever that pushes a plunger of sorts against the iPad screen creating a full featured “typewriter” effect. This typewriter was featured at the ECA Degree Show ’12. This is how he describes it:

picture of the iTypewriter mechanical typewriter for iPadIt is a typewriter for the ipad. Users can enjoy the old feeling of typing and also the lastest technology. Even though the elder users who have never used the computer or ipad, they can use this familiar typewriter and type in the familiar operation way. For some specific group of users, this product provide an easier way to type on the ipad. People could be able to recollect old experience and memory by familiar appearance and haptic feedback. Instead of stroking on the screen with no feedback, this product can reflect a strong haptic feedback. User can experience the physical strength transfer from the keypad and the movement of each key.

The only downfall of the iTypewriter (and the reason I haven’t tried to purchase one myself!) is the fact that it is not in the classic QWERTY keyboard layout, which could account for his slow typing in the following  video.

Although, this is not the only thing Yang has created in the vintage fashion. He has also created the iTurntable, a turntable that controls an iPod or iPhone for audio playback.

iTurntable – Mechanical Turntable for iPhone

iTurntable - turntable for iPhone

While not as mechanically impressive as the iTypewriter, the iTurntable is another great homage to the mechanics of the past.

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