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Proof that Paper is Dead: Introducing the USB Typewriter

We take paper for granted. The debate over the future of novels and pressed cellulose pulp is a hot one, with literary stars such as Phillip Roth and Paul Auster having weighed in on the issue in the past. Well, Jack Zylkin has offered further proof that paper will play an increasingly smaller role in our lives: With his innovative USB Typewriter, one can enjoy at once the nostalgic clacking of an old school keyboard, but also the freedom of a modern electronic document.

What’s even cooler is the Typewriter Dock, which holds any iPad with a writing application that can use the accelerometer to detect a carriage return, shifting the “paper” to the next line. How does it work? A sensor strip located under the keyboard detects the key-taps. A pulse of electricity is then relayed to an Arduino circuit-board and translated to the appropriate USB key-down event.

For $400-450, you can purchase a pre-fab version of the USB Typewriter; for $75-150, you can get a DIY “raw” or “pre-fab” kit. Alternatively, for $200 Zylkin will tinker with your very own typewriter for computer compatibility. Anybody with money to spare for a guilty purchase, specifically a purchase of “a new and groundbreaking innovation in the field of obsolescence,” ought to take a look at the video below:


For the hardcore nerds strapped for cash, never fear: The design is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, meaning Zylkin has made all the design documents freely available on his site for you to create your own USB Typewriter hardware and software.

(via Gadget Lab)

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