The Qwerkywriter: a delightful Bluetooth keyboard based on a manual typewriter


#1

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#2

I like everything about it, except the price.


#3

About damn time! The only time I’ve ever had hand problems from typing too much on a computer keyboard, they went away after I worked out on my old portable typewriter for a while.


#4

I’m right now looking for better keyboard alternatives to deal with my emerging RSI, and discovering just how bad all the early design decisions typewriters have got us stuck with for legacy, this feels like a painful and enraging step in the wrong direction.

Pretty though.


#5

Chunky and oversized seems like an odd design choice for a tablet keyboard.


#6

I wonder if this would be helpful to Parkinson’s sufferers.

Currently, “Parkinson’s Keyboards” are regular keyboards with lasercut plexi shields over them, so that you have to stick your finger in a hole to press a key. This is incredibly helpful for people with the tremor (hyperkinesiac) form of parkies - they rest their hands on the shield, and the cutouts keep them from accidentally hitting all the keys around the one they want - so the vendors charge an arm and a leg for $5 worth of plexiglass and a couple of velcro straps.

But those kind are not great for people with the freezing (hypokinesiac) form of Parkinsons - they don’t have a problem with hitting the wrong key, they have a problem with hitting any key at all. But it’s usually easier to do things if they have a rhythm, a beat to them, and it would be interesting to see if a keyboard with longer key travel would help.


#7

I’m disappointed by the lack of manual typewriter experience, like the long mechanical key throw of a manual typewriter. But, if they’ll throw in a flying capital feature, and one where the keyboard can jam if you type too quickly on nearby keys, then I’m in :smiley:

Meanwhile, there are these kits that allow you to use a manual typewriter as a USB keyboard…

Want. But I don’t have an appropriate typewriter to convert yet…


#8

Awesome link! I gotta see what model my mom’s old Royal is!


#9

At the announcement of the product, and now, I was heavily reminded of this:

and I hate it here.


#10

No keys seems like an odd design choice for a tablet!


#11

Publish a STL, so they can be lasercut at the nearest Makerspace? Such tchotchkes could be a good way to finance the equipment.

Would a Morse code keyer help here, or not? A chord keyboard, maybe? Anything that takes motion sensors (or even EMG or so) on the input and output the corresponding USB HID events? ATmega32u4-based Arduino clones could be the platform of choice here.


#12

As far as I know, nobody’s done that, but it’s a great idea. The vendors typically get a keyboard with very large buttons and cut a grid of square holes to match the key pattern, then attach standoffs and strap it on with velcro. It’d be nice to have a library of patterns to fit commonly available keyboards.

Most people with Parkinson’s have very limited ability to learn new motor skills, so the tool has to leverage existing mental patterns, which typically rules out chord keyboards &etc.


#13

We need mass-produced individual keys (cheap per piece) and 3d-printable or laser-cuttable something to set them into… Would allow cheaper design of user interfaces, including keyboards. With the arduino HID devices we’re almost there; the main obstacle is the 100 keys for a keyboard.
…possibly some VERY cheap bus-powered chip with UID that sends a press/release event on a 1-wire bus, and then connect the keys all in parallel, and then have a microcontroller that remembers which UID is which key/event?

Hmmm… Better learn Morse when there’s still time…


#14

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