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This USB typewriter transforms your iPad into a handsome machine

You love new technology but you’re also fond of your old school devices. And it can be a drag swapping out that beautiful vintage typewriter for that new computer with its modern design. That’s why you should probably invest in the USB typewriter. Yes, there’s such a thing.

The idea for the USB Typewriter began back in 2009 when hacker/designer/engineer Jack Zylkin found a ‘clunky old Royal typewriter‘ on the side of the road. Seeing that this century-old typewriter was still in good working condition, Zylkin came up with the idea to rescue old typewriters by connecting them to modern devices.

Today, those that want to experience the old world thrills of typing on a typewriter can purchase the USB Typewriter Conversion Kit (US$94). This kit lets you convert almost any manual typewriter into a computer keyboard or iPad dock. Simply place the kit onto the undercarriage of your typewriter and this hack will give you a full keyboard replacement.

The USB connector in the back of the typewriter

Image via USB Typewriter

One unique feature of the USB Typewriter is that it still writes on paper. While it records your keystrokes to a tablet, PC or smartphone screen, it also produces a hard copy of your work. You can even turn off the screen as you type and then edit and save your work digitally afterwards.

A USB Typewriter at work

Image via USB Typewriter

The kit is designed to work on most typewriters, meaning those that were built from the 1910s through to the 1960s. And while the main kit doesn’t require any soldering, if you’re really into the idea of building your own electronics, you can even grab a Solder-It-Yourself kit to really get stuck into it.

And to those saying – haven’t I seen this before? You might have, via Qwerkywriter, a crowdfunded project that was set up in 2014 and is meant to ship in August. That’s a long wait. And, it’s $US309, compared to USB Typewriter’s $US94, but the USB Typewriter is a conversion kit, rather than something out of the box that you can plug in, and love.

All we know is: we’d like to try both, thanks!

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