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We take things like capacitive touch screens for granted, but they’re a fairly recent innovation. The majority of writing in the twentieth century was produced on a QWERTY keyboard–a large chunk of that was performed on a manual typewriter. If you like the old-time tactile quality of a classic manual typewriter, but have come to appreciate the ease of use of an iPad, you’ll dig Austin Yang’s iTypewriter mechanical typewriter keyboard. Each key is mapped to match up with the built-in iOS keyboard, so as you type, a mechanical arm tipped with a conductive pad swings out and taps the capacitive screen to render a character. [via swissmiss]

Adam Flaherty

Adam Flaherty

I make cool stuff and write about other people making cool stuff on If you have something you think I should see, send me a tip.

24 Responses to Mechanical Typewriter Keyboard for iPad

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  1. I think I’ll wait until they bring out iTippex too.

  2. Hopefully no one decides to use White-Out to correct a mistake!

  3. Interesting that the mechanical keyboard isn’t qwerty.

  4. hmmm…. why is the iTypewriter not following the qwerty keyboard system?

  5. Cool but was I the only one cringing every time one of those arms smacked the screen?

  6. what brilliant idea, someone should combine the two into one device, say something like a clamshell where one half is keys other half is screen. When closed the key part it would even work as a protector for the screen …….

  7. How many WPM can an iPad handle? He’s typing very slowly and deliberately in the video.

    • Probably because it’s some weird keyboard layout to match the combination of mechanical linkages and the iPad virtual qwerty keyboard. I’d guess it jambs pretty easily too.

  8. They really went out of their way to not show a closeup of the keys. Obviously they don’t want you to see the non-QWERTY layout.

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