Are you old enough to have used a typewriter? If so, you may may yearn for a simpler time when the loud clickity-clack of typewriter keys could be heard in every office and dorm room. This iPad typewriter dock concept brings back some of that feeling, with a manual keyboard that should be familiar to anyone over age 35.
Created by designer Austin Yang, the iTyperwriter uses mechanical keys tipped with capacitive bumpers to tap at the virtual keyboard on the iPad's touchscreen. The result is that same as using the touch keyboard, but with an added tactile response that will be familiar to both computer keyboard and typewriter users alike.
This is a neat idea, but I think it needs some refinement before it can go into production. For starters, the keyboard does not appear to follow the standard QWERTY layout, which probably explains the glacially slow typing in the video. Worst of all, there isn't a regular space bar along the bottom, which will throw off anyone used to touch typing.The other pitfall could come as soon as Apple decides to tweak the layout of the virtual keyboard or change the size of the iPad, something that could happen sooner rather than later.
Still, it's weirdly satisfying to watch, and it's clever that it physically hammers at the iPad's screen instead of just acting as a typewriter-like keyboard. Check it out in the video below.