One-Off Keyboard Prototype Turns iPad Into Typewriter


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Austin Yang, an industrial designer current living in Edinburgh, Scotland, has created a working iPad typewriter keyboard that uses a hammer with a capacitive touch bumper to touch the iPad's on-screen keyboard.

Oddly, the physical keyboard doesn't map properly to the QWERTY keyboard on the iPad, most likely because of the mechanics of the typewriter that Yang has created. This is the likely reason for the very slow typing speed in the video below.

Article Link: One-Off Keyboard Prototype Turns iPad Into Typewriter


macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
Pretty cool stuff. But that portrait YouTube video is unwatchable.


macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2009
I imagine with more time and determination, you could actually make the proper qwerty board -- Although you'd have to the rubber on the end of the hammers much smaller so they sit inside the typewriter with less space.

I might have to do this someday -- I love typewriters, and I imagine finding a junker manual won't be hard.


Anyone else think Steve Jobs wouldn't have allowed a product like this?
Oh you.


macrumors 6502
Jul 24, 2009
Could it be using the DVORAK kb? I can't watch video at work.

The wording of the article is a little gut wrenching. I know it's not literal and reflects the original design of an actual typewriter, but should we still call it a hammer and not an arm? ;)


Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
Where'd they get this person from? I can type on the soft keyboard much faster than that - and I can't type very well either.

The whole video I am waiting for them to really start going to town with it and bang them out but it never happens.

Kind of reminds me of the ending of the movie Contact, what a disappointment!

But aside from the typing, this seems pretty neat - I never would have dreamed up this idea.
Last edited:


macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2007
38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
People with too much time on thier hands.

By the way. I didn't watch the video, but in the picture the iPad is set with a QWERTY keyboard layout and the "typewriter" has some form of modified AZERTY French keyboard. What's with that. I can't imagine typing with that would be much fun.


Jul 21, 2003
What an incredible waste of time.
Thank you.
A waste of time not only for the typist, but think of all the time he spent making this thing. Does he live off his daddy's trust fund or somthing and can spend his life designing and making useless crap?


macrumors 603
At least they didn't blend it . . . .yet. . . .

BTW all it needs is a custom keyboard layout app or setting. Sadly that means I am talking and thinking about it. :(

Somewhere in the bowels of Apple there is a room of odd and strange things people do with their Apple products. This is going in.