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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

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


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Comments

  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. trkemp says:

    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?

    1. miroslava von schlochbaum says:

      yep, i certainly was. expected to see a little spiderweb of spreading cracks…

      Nonetheless i know someone that would happily plunk down significant cash for this. (old fart who utterly hates screen-keyboards (and no, it isn’t me – i’m just an old fart))

      1. trkemp says:

        They would be far better off with a Bluetooth keyboard.

        1. miroslava von schlochbaum says:

          he’s got one. wait… he has two. he hates them. he -likes- his old royal. hence this project is perfect for him. (told you he was an old fart)

  6. fonz says:

    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 …….

    1. trkemp says:

      That’s brilliant. You should patent it!

      1. fonz says:

        considered some of the stuff that gets patended these days, it should just a piece of cake to get that patent rubberstamped

    2. James says:

      You just described the Nokia E90 – I’ve had one for a couple of years. ;)

      1. fonz says:

        I was trying to be funny ;) Ipad plus keyboard is just a clumsy expensive substitute for a laptop

  7. Jerry Murray says:

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

    1. trkemp says:

      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. Travis says:

    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.

    1. Mike says:

      One of the alternate photos of the iTypewriter on Austin Yang’s website gives you a pretty good view of the keyboard layout.

  9. [...] If this retro technology mashup seems familiar, you’ll want to also check out Austin’s Mechanical Typewriter Keyboard for iPad I blogged about earlier. Share this: Pin ItMoreEmailShare on TumblrDiggLike this:LikeBe the first [...]

  10. [...] back up. If this retro technology mashup seems familiar, you’ll want to also check out Austin’s Mechanical Typewriter Keyboard for iPad I blogged about [...]

  11. [...] back up. If this retro technology mashup seems familiar, you’ll want to also check out Austin’s Mechanical Typewriter Keyboard for iPad I blogged about [...]

  12. [...] back up. If this retro technology mashup seems familiar, you’ll want to also check out Austin’s Mechanical Typewriter Keyboard for iPad I blogged about [...]

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