Author Topic: distraction-free digital "typewriter"  (Read 9695 times)

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Offline TopreFan333

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distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« on: Wed, 10 December 2014, 18:07:20 »
As a writer who frequently succumbs to digital distractions (big time), I will confess to being intrigued by this device. It seems a little overpriced, and I don't know if I love the keycaps -- though since they're Cherry MX, I guess they could be easily changed.

If this was $200 I'd probably buy it.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/10/7368303/hemingwrite-cloud-synced-typewriter-prototype-launches-kickstarter-campaign
« Last Edit: Wed, 10 December 2014, 18:09:18 by dchadwick »

Offline FrostyToast

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 10 December 2014, 18:12:02 »
I could have SWORN there was a thread for this, but I can't find it.
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Offline FoxWolf1

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 10 December 2014, 18:22:35 »
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Offline Altis

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 10 December 2014, 18:30:43 »
From the comments...

Quote
This is for hipster that feels Macbook isn’t cutting it anymore.

I think that about sums it up. The e-ink is much better for your eyes though.

Still, why not just use an old command line OS and text editor. Not much distraction going on there, and doesn't cost a fortune and then some.

No amount of "distraction-free" is really going to work so long as you are in the proximity of a real computer or have your phone on you, in my opinion. Distraction-free is more of a discipline than anything else.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 10 December 2014, 18:58:48 »
Pull out your internet cord.. and create a user account that blocks all applications except  MS word..

Offline TopreFan333

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 10 December 2014, 22:01:59 »
From the comments...

Quote
This is for hipster that feels Macbook isn’t cutting it anymore.

I think that about sums it up. The e-ink is much better for your eyes though.

Still, why not just use an old command line OS and text editor. Not much distraction going on there, and doesn't cost a fortune and then some.

You know, there are a lot of people out there would would say mechanical keyboards are for the hipster whose regular keyboard isn't cutting it anymore. After all, millions of people crank out billions of words a day on membrane keyboards just fine, right? :)

Quote
No amount of "distraction-free" is really going to work so long as you are in the proximity of a real computer or have your phone on you, in my opinion. Distraction-free is more of a discipline than anything else.

I agree up to a point, but computers are perfect distraction machines. Obviously you can shut off your internet and use good old fashioned discipline -- but at the same time I think there is something to the idea of an all-in-one device dedicated to writing and incapable of really being used for anything else. Especially when the screen and keyboard have been optimized for text input. Probably pretty hard to write in screenplay format on it, though, unless you use Fountain script format, I guess.

For the record, I've gone down the road of creating a separate, stripped-down user account for writing only under OS X (though I wouldn't touch Word with a ten-foot pole) and that's definitely a help. I even used the Accessibility settings to make the screen greyscale in that account so it feels different from my main account. It's not bad but if this was cheaper I could see lugging it .

Offline baldgye

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 04:02:14 »
The pricing on this is insane. I was all aboard this idea thinking it would be a great cheap way to type out long thesis or stories etc and use it alongside a proper laptop... But the pricing is just insane. **** like this pisses me off.

As someone trying to get into design it brings my blood to boil when new guys come in and design something only for the rich or elite... How is that good design? What problem are you hoping to solve by arbitrary blocking a huge customer base.

And at $400 (which is a 'deep' discount?!) your getting a keyboard and an e-ink display with a wifi adapter? You could get a proper laptop and a proper keyboard with that kind of money...

Like I said when this was a concept I was 100% behind this, but given the pricing these guys can get ****ed.

Offline Oobly

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 06:37:18 »
How about a compact, minimal mechanical Bluetooth keyboard with a wooden casing, slot for your phone / tablet to rest in at an angle (with brass weight in the front of the keyboard to counterbalance it) and a good typewriter app like Writemonkey?

If you don't want distractions, just set the device in "do not disturb" mode.

I've been considering this as a product idea, but I don't have time to develop it yet. Should I?
Buying more keycaps,
it really hacks my wallet,
but I must have them.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 06:45:09 »
chillax, they're only gonna sell like 6 of um.. so $400 isn't that steep ..

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 06:57:28 »
How about a compact, minimal mechanical Bluetooth keyboard with a wooden casing, slot for your phone / tablet to rest in at an angle (with brass weight in the front of the keyboard to counterbalance it) and a good typewriter app like Writemonkey?

If you don't want distractions, just set the device in "do not disturb" mode.

I've been considering this as a product idea, but I don't have time to develop it yet. Should I?

An app that turns your device into a distraction free device?  Sounds like it would have a market.
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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 07:16:09 »
The pricing on this is insane. I was all aboard this idea thinking it would be a great cheap way to type out long thesis or stories etc and use it alongside a proper laptop... But the pricing is just insane. **** like this pisses me off.

As someone trying to get into design it brings my blood to boil when new guys come in and design something only for the rich or elite... How is that good design? What problem are you hoping to solve by arbitrary blocking a huge customer base.

And at $400 (which is a 'deep' discount?!) your getting a keyboard and an e-ink display with a wifi adapter? You could get a proper laptop and a proper keyboard with that kind of money...

Like I said when this was a concept I was 100% behind this, but given the pricing these guys can get ****ed.


There is a large market for making products for rich folks.  There also are plenty of yuppies with money to burn and time on their hands that envision themselves as writers.  Apple ain't cheap and accessible.  But they damn well sell like Tickle Me Elmo in 1996.

Real aspiring writers will continue beating away at their scissor switches on a five-year-old laptop while relying on food stamps to get by.

A new device is not going to make a person a good writer.  They might be delusional and think they are a distraction-free device away from being a writer.  Being a successful writer comes down to your discipline and concentration, like nearly any other task you seek to master.

So your main market for this is going to be the people that have an unsatisfactory, well paying career that think all they need is a new device to change their habits and become the writer they always wanted to be.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 07:21:40 »
what's funny is ..

The majority of the people are poor ..

Yet they also make up the majority of apple users ..

LOL.. financing..   that's why apple isn't actually a rich people brand, it's just a poor people brand under the guise of luxury..

This is relative to income of course..  if you were in a third world country, and you had an apple computer, technically you would be rich..

Offline ideus

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 07:32:06 »
Nook + your favorite 60% keyboard + usb host hardware and software that is still in the making may replace this thing soon.

http://www.howto-make.org/8AnFBMoneya4gvoB/Nook-Color-standalone-USB-host.html

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 07:32:39 »
what's funny is ..

The majority of the people are poor ..

Yet they also make up the majority of apple users ..

LOL.. financing..   that's why apple isn't actually a rich people brand, it's just a poor people brand under the guise of luxury..

This is relative to income of course..  if you were in a third world country, and you had an apple computer, technically you would be rich..

Oh yea, I forgot about financing.  We also have cell phone contracts, which an indirect way of financing a device.  My poor roommate bought an iPad with financing.  I just buy everything outright and don't worry about payments.
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Offline baldgye

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 07:33:03 »
The pricing on this is insane. I was all aboard this idea thinking it would be a great cheap way to type out long thesis or stories etc and use it alongside a proper laptop... But the pricing is just insane. **** like this pisses me off.

As someone trying to get into design it brings my blood to boil when new guys come in and design something only for the rich or elite... How is that good design? What problem are you hoping to solve by arbitrary blocking a huge customer base.

And at $400 (which is a 'deep' discount?!) your getting a keyboard and an e-ink display with a wifi adapter? You could get a proper laptop and a proper keyboard with that kind of money...

Like I said when this was a concept I was 100% behind this, but given the pricing these guys can get ****ed.


There is a large market for making products for rich folks.  There also are plenty of yuppies with money to burn and time on their hands that envision themselves as writers.  Apple ain't cheap and accessible.  But they damn well sell like Tickle Me Elmo in 1996.

Real aspiring writers will continue beating away at their scissor switches on a five-year-old laptop while relying on food stamps to get by.

A new device is not going to make a person a good writer.  They might be delusional and think they are a distraction-free device away from being a writer.  Being a successful writer comes down to your discipline and concentration, like nearly any other task you seek to master.

So your main market for this is going to be the people that have an unsatisfactory, well paying career that think all they need is a new device to change their habits and become the writer they always wanted to be.

I just have a personal issue with this way of thinking. It's like every halfwit design graduate 'designs' some insane $700 chair and think they are the next design genious.
Since Apple's second coming every moron designer seems to think that design can only be for the privileged, it's insane and retarded.
Apple make very wel made devices, these kids are making a keyboard with an eink display for the same price as Apple's premium iPad. It's insane.

Maybe I'm just projecting my own frustrations at picking the wrong degree and trying to correct that now but I'm tried of looking at the work of 'designers' and then seeing the insane price tag that is totally unjustified, but is only there to try and elevate the thing they have designed to a level it has no place being on.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 07:45:35 »
what's funny is ..

The majority of the people are poor ..

Yet they also make up the majority of apple users ..

LOL.. financing..   that's why apple isn't actually a rich people brand, it's just a poor people brand under the guise of luxury..

This is relative to income of course..  if you were in a third world country, and you had an apple computer, technically you would be rich..

Oh yea, I forgot about financing.  We also have cell phone contracts, which an indirect way of financing a device.  My poor roommate bought an iPad with financing.  I just buy everything outright and don't worry about payments.

If you -NEED- to finance something under $10,000...  just head to costco, buy a year of top ramen.. by the end of the year.. you'll have surely saved $10,000...

I call it.. Ramen Financing..  down payment of $102 for 1104 packs of ramen.. 0% interest...



Offline ideus

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 07:48:08 »
This is turning into an interesting philosophical debate about the actual purpose of design, business based on aspirational luxury items pulling poor people paying for it on credit, and technology as replacement of self control, and replacement of actual skills development.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 07:55:08 »
This is turning into an interesting philosophical debate about the actual purpose of design, business based on aspirational luxury items pulling poor people paying for it on credit, and technology as replacement of self control, and replacement of actual skills development.

it's not philosophical...

it's a TRICK... pure and simple..


Nothing is worth more than exactly it's whole self..

YET.. the world accounting somehow finds a SURPLUS...  there is neither a surplus NOR deficiency.


However, there is GREED..  and that greed misappropriates humanity's resources even through all the unnecessary death...


Next time you guys buy a keyboard, you know, one of the 20 others you already own but don't use...

That is the same attitude which added up over a billion times  leading to war, famine, genocide, and oppression.





Offline baldgye

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 08:23:47 »
This is turning into an interesting philosophical debate about the actual purpose of design, business based on aspirational luxury items pulling poor people paying for it on credit, and technology as replacement of self control, and replacement of actual skills development.

Good design solves problems. This solves a problem and then arbitrary barrier to entry as to try and elevate it to a level it has no place being on.

Offline TopreFan333

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 14:04:55 »
Real aspiring writers will continue beating away at their scissor switches on a five-year-old laptop while relying on food stamps to get by.

A new device is not going to make a person a good writer.  They might be delusional and think they are a distraction-free device away from being a writer.  Being a successful writer comes down to your discipline and concentration, like nearly any other task you seek to master.

So your main market for this is going to be the people that have an unsatisfactory, well paying career that think all they need is a new device to change their habits and become the writer they always wanted to be.

Wow, generalize much? How do you know what every writers uses or needs?  You are just throwing around broad cliches about who you assume writers are. And again: half the people posting here are on special custom keyboards that cost $100, $200, more... so let's not start throwing rocks about overpriced products.

Is this thing expensive? Yes. Overpriced? Quite possibly. Is it interesting that people are potentially willing to pony up cash for a device for ONLY typing text? Yes, I think it is interesting and I think it points to this being a specific "overload" moment in people's technological lives. That's why I posted this.

But by all means, let's hear more generalizations about "hipsters" and "wannabe writers" from people who blow hundreds of dollars for differently-colored keys on their keyboards.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 16:56:23 »
Real aspiring writers will continue beating away at their scissor switches on a five-year-old laptop while relying on food stamps to get by.

A new device is not going to make a person a good writer.  They might be delusional and think they are a distraction-free device away from being a writer.  Being a successful writer comes down to your discipline and concentration, like nearly any other task you seek to master.

So your main market for this is going to be the people that have an unsatisfactory, well paying career that think all they need is a new device to change their habits and become the writer they always wanted to be.

Wow, generalize much? How do you know what every writers uses or needs?  You are just throwing around broad cliches about who you assume writers are. And again: half the people posting here are on special custom keyboards that cost $100, $200, more... so let's not start throwing rocks about overpriced products.

Is this thing expensive? Yes. Overpriced? Quite possibly. Is it interesting that people are potentially willing to pony up cash for a device for ONLY typing text? Yes, I think it is interesting and I think it points to this being a specific "overload" moment in people's technological lives. That's why I posted this.

But by all means, let's hear more generalizations about "hipsters" and "wannabe writers" from people who blow hundreds of dollars for differently-colored keys on their keyboards.

It's not just a generalization..

You have to take into account the cumulative poor decision making that it would take for someone to decide YES, I need to buy this thing to make me write better..

So let's analyze some of the basic pivots that would be in this purchase decision

Does it involve lots of money.. YES
-- Ok, something expensive should be researched and evaluated thoroughly
-- Is this person doing that..

Does it do anything that can't be done in cheaper ways.. NO..

-- If you already own a billion things that do virtually the same thing, and can be recomposed to do EXACTLY the same thing..  Why buy it..
-- Does the time it take to reorient existing resources exceed the purchase cost of this new tool
-- Why is the buyer NOT assessing this

Is it convenient research tool for writing.. NO..
-- Writing has as much to do with experience and research as it does with generation.
-- Poor writing is usually the result of narrow scope and contrived vision..
-- What is a the likelihood of someone who can't properly research the need for a stripped down ipod writing anything worth reading..


So you see..  you COULD indeed generalize the people who would purchase such a machine..  IDIOTS..

Offline TopreFan333

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 17:08:11 »
Again, you could make nearly all these arguments about fancy mechanical keyboards. You're also calling me an idiot for thinking this thing is kind of interesting. So...  :thumb: -- there's not an icon for the digit I am sending your way, but thanks so much for participating.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 11 December 2014, 17:19:01 »
Again, you could make nearly all these arguments about fancy mechanical keyboards. You're also calling me an idiot for thinking this thing is kind of interesting. So...  :thumb: -- there's not an icon for the digit I am sending your way, but thanks so much for participating.


haha... TP4 is the preventative medicine of ONLINE related afflictions.. he's bitter.. but keeps you living healthy..


I am not saying it's IMPOSSIBLE that this machine will fit into your life..  but I find the conditions where it'd exist as a "necessity" rather unlikely and peculiar..



Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 07:06:08 »
The pricing on this is insane. I was all aboard this idea thinking it would be a great cheap way to type out long thesis or stories etc and use it alongside a proper laptop... But the pricing is just insane. **** like this pisses me off.

As someone trying to get into design it brings my blood to boil when new guys come in and design something only for the rich or elite... How is that good design? What problem are you hoping to solve by arbitrary blocking a huge customer base.

And at $400 (which is a 'deep' discount?!) your getting a keyboard and an e-ink display with a wifi adapter? You could get a proper laptop and a proper keyboard with that kind of money...

Like I said when this was a concept I was 100% behind this, but given the pricing these guys can get ****ed.


There is a large market for making products for rich folks.  There also are plenty of yuppies with money to burn and time on their hands that envision themselves as writers.  Apple ain't cheap and accessible.  But they damn well sell like Tickle Me Elmo in 1996.

Real aspiring writers will continue beating away at their scissor switches on a five-year-old laptop while relying on food stamps to get by.

A new device is not going to make a person a good writer.  They might be delusional and think they are a distraction-free device away from being a writer.  Being a successful writer comes down to your discipline and concentration, like nearly any other task you seek to master.

So your main market for this is going to be the people that have an unsatisfactory, well paying career that think all they need is a new device to change their habits and become the writer they always wanted to be.

I just have a personal issue with this way of thinking. It's like every halfwit design graduate 'designs' some insane $700 chair and think they are the next design genious.
Since Apple's second coming every moron designer seems to think that design can only be for the privileged, it's insane and retarded.
Apple make very wel made devices, these kids are making a keyboard with an eink display for the same price as Apple's premium iPad. It's insane.

Maybe I'm just projecting my own frustrations at picking the wrong degree and trying to correct that now but I'm tried of looking at the work of 'designers' and then seeing the insane price tag that is totally unjustified, but is only there to try and elevate the thing they have designed to a level it has no place being on.

I don't know, man.  You might be frustrated.  Considering the included features (mech keyboard, tiny e-ink screen, battery, cloud backup, on-device storage), it does seem a little pricey, but it would be interesting to know how all the costs breakdown.  Manufacturing a product is not cheap and easy, and will take the sale of many units to recover costs and start turning a profit.

The Kickstarter is going well and they met their goal with 42 days left, so it seems to have plenty of interest besides us haters here.

I just hope at that price, it will be a quality product that will last many years.
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Offline ideus

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 07:14:48 »
This is turning into an interesting philosophical debate about the actual purpose of design, business based on aspirational luxury items pulling poor people paying for it on credit, and technology as replacement of self control, and replacement of actual skills development.

Good design solves problems. This solves a problem and then arbitrary barrier to entry as to try and elevate it to a level it has no place being on.

Design at its best creates value, in its broader sense, this proposal may not have a positive balance of value created solving a problem -that does not necessarily exist, or that could be solved in more efficient ways- vs. overall cost of production and ownership.

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 07:54:35 »
This is turning into an interesting philosophical debate about the actual purpose of design, business based on aspirational luxury items pulling poor people paying for it on credit, and technology as replacement of self control, and replacement of actual skills development.

Yes, it has expanded beyond the scope of the product because the idea beyond the product encompasses so much more than simply being a product.  If one wants to succeed as a writer, they have more work to do than buy a new product. The Hemingwrite is a tool, but not the power behind the tool.  For one to succeed as a writer, they will need to do more than buy the device and reduce their distractions.


Real aspiring writers will continue beating away at their scissor switches on a five-year-old laptop while relying on food stamps to get by.

A new device is not going to make a person a good writer.  They might be delusional and think they are a distraction-free device away from being a writer.  Being a successful writer comes down to your discipline and concentration, like nearly any other task you seek to master.

So your main market for this is going to be the people that have an unsatisfactory, well paying career that think all they need is a new device to change their habits and become the writer they always wanted to be.

Wow, generalize much? How do you know what every writers uses or needs?  You are just throwing around broad cliches about who you assume writers are. And again: half the people posting here are on special custom keyboards that cost $100, $200, more... so let's not start throwing rocks about overpriced products.

Is this thing expensive? Yes. Overpriced? Quite possibly. Is it interesting that people are potentially willing to pony up cash for a device for ONLY typing text? Yes, I think it is interesting and I think it points to this being a specific "overload" moment in people's technological lives. That's why I posted this.

But by all means, let's hear more generalizations about "hipsters" and "wannabe writers" from people who blow hundreds of dollars for differently-colored keys on their keyboards.


I do know what every writer needs.  I have conducted a national survey of every blogger, journalist, fiction writer, non-fiction writer, newspaper man, technical writer, and anyone else out there than identifies as a paid writer, and the reporting of their annual salary shows that such a device would be a poor investment when they also will need a computer for research and editing purposes, and carrying around multiple devices will be burdensome.

Off the trolling horse for a moment, I do agree that we do have a complete technology overload that affects our ability to concentrate on our current task and give our full attention to others.  Now we might have a market emerging in single-purpose devices that only allow us to do a few limited tasks, rather than have access to EVERYTHING.  But the solution, in my view, does not lie in a single-purpose device.  As individuals, we have to practice the discipline to turn off our glowing screens and get lost in the task of the moment, like the writing of this response on my overpriced mechanical keyboard on a computer than gives me access to more information than I could ever process.

The devices for writing have transitioned from handwriting to printing press to typewriter to computer keyboard to tablet.  With each new device, someone always bemoan how it will fundamentally change the quality of writing.  But good writers still utilize these devices to their advantage and produce quality work.  Although a computer has allowed us to create more words with less forethought on the quality of the words.

If a person wishes to concentrate and focus on their writing without distractions, I think that various other low-cost and more convenient options exist or will exist other than buying a new, pricey, and clunky device.  For example, that Nook mod seems interesting, and I could plug any of my mechanical keyboards into it.

I do wonder if they could pop on a bigger screen and making it a folding device like a laptop.  Being hunched over looking at that tiny screen is not very comfortable.
« Last Edit: Fri, 12 December 2014, 08:39:04 by prdlm2009 »
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Offline baldgye

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 08:02:39 »
This is turning into an interesting philosophical debate about the actual purpose of design, business based on aspirational luxury items pulling poor people paying for it on credit, and technology as replacement of self control, and replacement of actual skills development.

Good design solves problems. This solves a problem and then arbitrary barrier to entry as to try and elevate it to a level it has no place being on.

Design at its best creates value, in its broader sense, this proposal may not have a positive balance of value created solving a problem -that does not necessarily exist, or that could be solved in more efficient ways- vs. overall cost of production and ownership.

I don't feel you can create value by simply slapping on a price tag though. There is no genious here, no extreme case of amazing design that has come from nowhere, just an updated and improved pre-existing idea.
Apple is the perfect example of creating value through design. And if you look at there machines vs other companies machines (be they desktops or laptops) Apple is in another world compared to them. You look at the original iMac or the iBook's and they are light years ahead of Dell or Toshiba at the time.

Anther tech example of design creating value would be the IBM Think Pads.

But neither of these examples happened over night.

Like I said I feel like this is a classic case of people graduating uni and designing some insane mostly bad looking chair and desk and then charging $2000 for it. But yeah seems like people lap that **** up so I guess what do I know? Lol

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 08:35:56 »
This is turning into an interesting philosophical debate about the actual purpose of design, business based on aspirational luxury items pulling poor people paying for it on credit, and technology as replacement of self control, and replacement of actual skills development.

Good design solves problems. This solves a problem and then arbitrary barrier to entry as to try and elevate it to a level it has no place being on.

Design at its best creates value, in its broader sense, this proposal may not have a positive balance of value created solving a problem -that does not necessarily exist, or that could be solved in more efficient ways- vs. overall cost of production and ownership.

I don't feel you can create value by simply slapping on a price tag though. There is no genious here, no extreme case of amazing design that has come from nowhere, just an updated and improved pre-existing idea.
Apple is the perfect example of creating value through design. And if you look at there machines vs other companies machines (be they desktops or laptops) Apple is in another world compared to them. You look at the original iMac or the iBook's and they are light years ahead of Dell or Toshiba at the time.

Anther tech example of design creating value would be the IBM Think Pads.

But neither of these examples happened over night.

Like I said I feel like this is a classic case of people graduating uni and designing some insane mostly bad looking chair and desk and then charging $2000 for it. But yeah seems like people lap that **** up so I guess what do I know? Lol


Remember that the price is what people are willing to pay.  If the target market is willing to pay $500, then sell it for that much, by all means.
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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 09:06:37 »
As a person with an interest in both mechanical keyboards and typewriters, I am intrigued by any device that attempts to combine the two, which is why this product is persisting in my thoughts this morning.  I wonder if a device with wifi, bluetooth, on-board storage, e-ink screen, and an USB slot for hooking up your own keyboard, but without an embedded keyboard, could be produced for a lower price and easier portability?  Imagine an Amazon Kindle, but for the purpose of writing, not reading, and with a USB slot for a keyboard. Maybe the e-reader capabilities could be maintained, to draw in a bigger market.  But ditch all the other distractions of our portable electronic devices.  An attached keyboard will suck up battery life, but the device could have a beefed-up battery to deal with such energy drains.

That sort of device would have a limited market compared to e-readers, so I doubt a big company like Amazon would take the dive.  I guess that's were entrepreneurs step in.  Also, I understand that Nook mod does the same thing, but does not seem to have the e-ink screen or the battery life.

I showed the Hemingwrite to a co-worker and, being in her forties, she noted the device reminded her of word processing machines from her high school days, but with wifi and wireless capabilities.
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Offline Altis

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #29 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 20:53:42 »
You know, there are a lot of people out there would would say mechanical keyboards are for the hipster whose regular keyboard isn't cutting it anymore. After all, millions of people crank out billions of words a day on membrane keyboards just fine, right? :)
...
I agree up to a point, but computers are perfect distraction machines. Obviously you can shut off your internet and use good old fashioned discipline -- but at the same time I think there is something to the idea of an all-in-one device dedicated to writing and incapable of really being used for anything else. Especially when the screen and keyboard have been optimized for text input. Probably pretty hard to write in screenplay format on it, though, unless you use Fountain script format, I guess.

For the record, I've gone down the road of creating a separate, stripped-down user account for writing only under OS X (though I wouldn't touch Word with a ten-foot pole) and that's definitely a help. I even used the Accessibility settings to make the screen greyscale in that account so it feels different from my main account. It's not bad but if this was cheaper I could see lugging it .

For the hipster part: I very much agree. In fact, I'm shocked that it hasn't already caught on as a hipster thing. I think they just don't know about it. Think about it... it's unique, highly customizable (with colors and everything), vintage/retro, disregards others in public, and pretty expensive. It ticks all the hipster boxes yet none of them seem to have noticed. I think it has to start as a trend before others will take notice and join (like fixed-gear bikes, for example). It'll come, you just wait!

The difference between spending money on mechanical keyboards and this is that people are just enhancing their experience with something, not trying to solve a problem. If you type all day on a keyboard, why not get one that's enjoyable. If you're buying this because you're addicted to Facebook, then you'll still be distracted by Facebook with other means.

My point is simply that even having a computer that only does one function (text input), you'll still be distracted by everything around you (phone, TV, actual computers nearby, etc).

The other major consideration is the extremely narrow workflow that this can work in: namely, creative writing. Nearly everyone writing stuff for school or work requires access to other documents and sources of information to produce their work, which this doesn't allow for. That leaves just writers who are doing creative writing (such as a novel, journal, or screenplay). Those people exist for sure, but it still is an extremely limited device.

I think there are perhaps better options (either cheaper or more effective, or both) worth trying first. For example, taking a normal laptop somewhere with no internet connection (like a park, cottage). There are all kinds of creative ways to go about removing distractions (namely the internet in this case as it's the only distraction this device addresses).

I'm also not crazy about this particular design. Your neck will be broken if you write a book while staring straight down pretty much at your keyboard, there are no dedicated arrow keys or mouse for quickly and easily manipulating text, and I think the screen is too small (although I love the e-ink idea).

It's certainly an interesting idea and makes for an interesting conversation about the way we use modern devices and some of the ways they can be overwhelming.
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #30 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 21:16:47 »
This thing is still cheaper than the inflation-adjusted price of a typewriter 50 years ago. On any kind of middle-class salary, for someone who actually plans to use this thing as a serious work tool, the price is relatively trivial.

On the other hand, if it’s just being bought because it seems like a cute idea, and is destined to be shoved on a shelf after a few days and never touched again, then sure, it’s overpriced. But you could say the same about most of the crap people buy.

If you wanna complain about overpriced stuff, complain about 99% of people who ever bought an SUV or big house in the suburbs. Not to mention mechanical wristwatches, makeup, fancy clothes, fancy shoes, nice bicycles, every sportscar ever, golf clubs, Leica cameras and most DSLRs, many children’s toys, fancy silverware and dishes, pure-bred pets, &c. &c. &c.
« Last Edit: Fri, 12 December 2014, 21:22:57 by jacobolus »

Offline mkawa

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 12 December 2014, 21:41:52 »
alphasmart made these things for a very long time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlphaSmart

there are plenty on ebay for pennies, probably less than it would cost to roll your own and with just as much useful functionality as that silly thing in the OP.

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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #32 on: Sat, 13 December 2014, 07:37:33 »
That's it.  I'm making the e-writer where you can hook up your keyboard.  Who's with me?

alphasmart made these things for a very long time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlphaSmart

there are plenty on ebay for pennies, probably less than it would cost to roll your own and with just as much useful functionality as that silly thing in the OP.

Interesting device, never knew about that.  Going for way cheap on Ebay.  I wonder about the battery life on such a device.  Doesn't have the retro styling and mechanical keyboard, though.


The other major consideration is the extremely narrow workflow that this can work in: namely, creative writing. Nearly everyone writing stuff for school or work requires access to other documents and sources of information to produce their work, which this doesn't allow for. That leaves just writers who are doing creative writing (such as a novel, journal, or screenplay). Those people exist for sure, but it still is an extremely limited device.

I'm also not crazy about this particular design. Your neck will be broken if you write a book while staring straight down pretty much at your keyboard, there are no dedicated arrow keys or mouse for quickly and easily manipulating text, and I think the screen is too small (although I love the e-ink idea).

It's certainly an interesting idea and makes for an interesting conversation about the way we use modern devices and some of the ways they can be overwhelming.

These are two points that crossed my mind.  If you writing on any sort of deadline, work that require lots of editing or formatting, or some research to complete the work, you will not want to mess with multiple devices at a time.  I see this as a device that markets mainly to a creative or fiction writer.

Having to stare down at that tiny screen will cause strain, if you ever had a computer screen that is too low for you.  And if you have if you ever tried to use your laptop at the regular height of a kitchen table for a long period of time.

If you wanna complain about overpriced stuff, complain about 99% of people who ever bought an SUV or big house in the suburbs. Not to mention mechanical wristwatches, makeup, fancy clothes, fancy shoes, nice bicycles, every sportscar ever, golf clubs, Leica cameras and most DSLRs, many children�s toys, fancy silverware and dishes, pure-bred pets, &c. &c. &c.

There is a good market for overpriced stuff.  People like expensive things, because they can buy them, for status, and some expensive things are rather nice to own.  I would never doubt the success of the item just because it seems expensive to some of us cheapo plebes on here.

In the end, although I am not crazy about the device, I wish them luck, but it does not seem like they need much luck because that Kickstarter is fully funded with 40 days to go.  That also was a terribly written sentence.


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Offline baldgye

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #33 on: Sat, 13 December 2014, 07:51:39 »
I feel like describing this thing as hipster is as lazy as the designers have been in designing it...

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 13 December 2014, 08:57:07 »
I feel like describing this thing as hipster is as lazy as the designers have been in designing it...

What could be done to improve the design, in your opinion?
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Offline baldgye

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #35 on: Sat, 13 December 2014, 11:35:59 »
I feel like describing this thing as hipster is as lazy as the designers have been in designing it...

What could be done to improve the design, in your opinion?

Idk how I can be anything other than vague with my reply but:
Make it look like something new, not something trying to be something else
Design it to be cheaper

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #36 on: Sat, 13 December 2014, 16:26:56 »
I feel like describing this thing as hipster is as lazy as the designers have been in designing it...

What could be done to improve the design, in your opinion?

Idk how I can be anything other than vague with my reply but:
Make it look like something new, not something trying to be something else
Design it to be cheaper

Nearly everything is built upon earlier designs.  Not to say this is a bad thing, but we are influenced by things that we might not be aware of.  The history of humans is building upon earlier ideas.  I don't see that as something harmful to do, because it is what it is.
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Offline EvillePanda

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 14 December 2014, 00:23:02 »
Going against the flow here, but I like it. I am a writer and have several finished novels and novellas. My writing still needs work. Do I think a distraction free device is going to miraculously make it better? No, of course not. All it's going to do is give me something simple to write on. The only thing that's going to make my writing better is work and that's on me, not any technology.

That being said, I've been wanting something with this exact functionality for years. Is it over-priced? Sure. Is it hipster? More than likely. Does it have a market? Oh yes, a very large one. Some are probably wannabe writers. Some just think it's cool. Others want something with no frills that's transportable that just writes. Could I get the same functionality with a laptop with the wifi turned off and no programs save word or even MS Dos installed? Probably. This is a simple, all-in-one device. I think it's fun and quirky.
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Offline TopreFan333

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 15 December 2014, 15:15:48 »
That's it.  I'm making the e-writer where you can hook up your keyboard.  Who's with me?

I would love this! Hack a Kindle paperwhite onto my mechanical keyboard and I will hand you my money.

Offline baldgye

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 07:05:17 »
I feel like describing this thing as hipster is as lazy as the designers have been in designing it...

What could be done to improve the design, in your opinion?

Idk how I can be anything other than vague with my reply but:
Make it look like something new, not something trying to be something else
Design it to be cheaper

Nearly everything is built upon earlier designs.  Not to say this is a bad thing, but we are influenced by things that we might not be aware of.  The history of humans is building upon earlier ideas.  I don't see that as something harmful to do, because it is what it is.


I don't understand what that really has to do with anything. Yes I would make it look diffeent but that's not my point.
Lazy design is when you design something poorly and because of this it becomes expensive. Realistically I have no idea if this is true or not because they could have designed it to cost very little and are running a HUGE markup on it, but given the amount of press this thing has gotten (and almost non of it has been negative) I doubt this is the case.
When you compare it in price to a custom one-off bespoke keyboard, built by hand it's about the same price... How can that be?

Like I said before maybe I'm just jaded, but for me, things like this, should be lead by design for people who would and could use this, not just the people who can afford to pay a premium.

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 07:39:22 »
That's it.  I'm making the e-writer where you can hook up your keyboard.  Who's with me?

I would love this! Hack a Kindle paperwhite onto my mechanical keyboard and I will hand you my money.

I don't know squat about designing a product and bringing it to market, but I guess that we will need:

1.  product or design engineer of some sort
2.  some kind of programmer that knows what to do
3.  website designer
4.  supply chain guy with knowledge of Chinese manufacturing.
5.  a pitchman/marketer, hoping for Billy Mays' ghost

I will anoint myself the project manager with at least 51% ownership of the startup.  Considering I don't know how to do any of the technical details of this project and all I'm good for are ideas, some flowery copy for the webpage, and scathing criticism of the early designs, I'll take a mostly hands off, but encouraging, approach to project management.

Product name:  The No-BS Writer's Tablet.

Now if I only had motivation and ambition.
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Offline ideus

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 07:43:33 »
1) Technology cannot replace discipline in any profession.
2) Innovation is creation of value - in some market - by implementing useful ideas, or by recombining old ones.
3) The assumption that a writer needs support to focus on the job, or that he/she is willing to pay for an overpriced digital typewriter is simple wrong.
4) This thing may have a market, where people perceive that its characteristics provide some value, and therefore are willing to pay for it, but surely that market is not made of writers.
« Last Edit: Tue, 16 December 2014, 07:55:56 by ideus »

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 08:11:56 »
1) Technology cannot replace discipline in any profession.
2) Innovation is creation of value - in some market - by implementing useful ideas, or by recombining old ones.
3) The assumption that a writer needs support to focus on the job, or that he/she is willing to pay for an overpriced digital typewriter is simple wrong.
4) This thing may have a market, where people perceive that its characteristics provide some value, and therefore are willing to pay for it, but surely that market is not made of writers.


For a successful product standpoint, all irrelevant if enough people think that a device will address the problem they have with discipline and concentration and are willing to pay for it.  Disclaimer:  I may not know what I'm talking about.

The kickstarter is killing it and the price ranges for buying the product at a discount are sold out, so it's definitely got some kind of market.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamleeb/hemingwrite-a-distraction-free-digital-typewriter/description
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Offline Oobly

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 08:31:18 »
As a person with an interest in both mechanical keyboards and typewriters, I am intrigued by any device that attempts to combine the two, which is why this product is persisting in my thoughts this morning.  I wonder if a device with wifi, bluetooth, on-board storage, e-ink screen, and an USB slot for hooking up your own keyboard, but without an embedded keyboard, could be produced for a lower price and easier portability?  Imagine an Amazon Kindle, but for the purpose of writing, not reading, and with a USB slot for a keyboard. Maybe the e-reader capabilities could be maintained, to draw in a bigger market.  But ditch all the other distractions of our portable electronic devices.  An attached keyboard will suck up battery life, but the device could have a beefed-up battery to deal with such energy drains.

That sort of device would have a limited market compared to e-readers, so I doubt a big company like Amazon would take the dive.  I guess that's were entrepreneurs step in.  Also, I understand that Nook mod does the same thing, but does not seem to have the e-ink screen or the battery life.

I showed the Hemingwrite to a co-worker and, being in her forties, she noted the device reminded her of word processing machines from her high school days, but with wifi and wireless capabilities.


I think you can simply use your existing mobile device (phone / tablet / ebook reader with some app capability) and use a compact mechanical keyboard and some good software. By that I mean that you can set the device to flight mode and / or the app can run fullscreen without notifications, etc bugging you. I envisage adding a slot to the back of the keyboard and a MicroUSB OTG plug to connect it, with a battery in the front of the keyboard as a counterweight (so it balances even with a "heavy" device like an Galaxy Tab or iPad in the slot and also when used on a lap) and to provide longer typing time. Ideally the board would be around 40% size and as compact as it can be while still using good mechanical switches.

I agree with you that a more multipurpose device has a larger market and that as a writer you don't want to have to lug extra stuff everywhere unless it truly impacts your ability to write in a big way. A good, familiar and easy to use compact mechanical keyboard could add enough value to be worth it. Can also be

I'd like to produce something like this and have actually started to design a layout for it, really minimal (36 keys or so), inspired the Hammond Varityper like the one Tolkien used to use :) I want to build at least one for my own use, maybe more if there are enough people interested.
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Offline ideus

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 08:41:14 »
1) Technology cannot replace discipline in any profession.
2) Innovation is creation of value - in some market - by implementing useful ideas, or by recombining old ones.
3) The assumption that a writer needs support to focus on the job, or that he/she is willing to pay for an overpriced digital typewriter is simple wrong.
4) This thing may have a market, where people perceive that its characteristics provide some value, and therefore are willing to pay for it, but surely that market is not made of writers.


For a successful product standpoint, all irrelevant if enough people think that a device will address the problem they have with discipline and concentration and are willing to pay for it.  Disclaimer:  I may not know what I'm talking about.

The kickstarter is killing it and the price ranges for buying the product at a discount are sold out, so it's definitely got some kind of market.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamleeb/hemingwrite-a-distraction-free-digital-typewriter/description

840 backers can hardly be called a representative demography for an American market, and they are not for a global one for sure. Maybe they are enticed for the novelty-"ness", and the coolness to be seen carrying around one uncommon gadget, that makes them to look somewhat like intellectuals. "Hemingwrite" evokes a master writer for example.

Offline baldgye

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 09:51:45 »
It would be interesting to poll the number of backers who bought one to see how many books by Hemmingway they have read.

Offline TopreFan333

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 10:08:55 »
Idk how I can be anything other than vague with my reply but:
Make it look like something new, not something trying to be something else
Design it to be cheaper

The form factor to me seems more or less appropriate. I mean, how many different shapes could a thing built around a keyboard and a screen have? It looks like a typewriter, and is trying to evoke the form and function of one. Seems to line up pretty well with the design goals. Speaking of the keyboard (and the price) they could easily have shaved a BUNCH off the price by putting whatever cheapo membrane keyboard onto it but they didn't. IF I was in the market for this thing, I would not be wanting them to make it $100 cheaper by skimping on the hardware.

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 10:32:24 »
As a person with an interest in both mechanical keyboards and typewriters, I am intrigued by any device that attempts to combine the two, which is why this product is persisting in my thoughts this morning.  I wonder if a device with wifi, bluetooth, on-board storage, e-ink screen, and an USB slot for hooking up your own keyboard, but without an embedded keyboard, could be produced for a lower price and easier portability?  Imagine an Amazon Kindle, but for the purpose of writing, not reading, and with a USB slot for a keyboard. Maybe the e-reader capabilities could be maintained, to draw in a bigger market.  But ditch all the other distractions of our portable electronic devices.  An attached keyboard will suck up battery life, but the device could have a beefed-up battery to deal with such energy drains.

That sort of device would have a limited market compared to e-readers, so I doubt a big company like Amazon would take the dive.  I guess that's were entrepreneurs step in.  Also, I understand that Nook mod does the same thing, but does not seem to have the e-ink screen or the battery life.

I showed the Hemingwrite to a co-worker and, being in her forties, she noted the device reminded her of word processing machines from her high school days, but with wifi and wireless capabilities.


I think you can simply use your existing mobile device (phone / tablet / ebook reader with some app capability) and use a compact mechanical keyboard and some good software. By that I mean that you can set the device to flight mode and / or the app can run fullscreen without notifications, etc bugging you. I envisage adding a slot to the back of the keyboard and a MicroUSB OTG plug to connect it, with a battery in the front of the keyboard as a counterweight (so it balances even with a "heavy" device like an Galaxy Tab or iPad in the slot and also when used on a lap) and to provide longer typing time. Ideally the board would be around 40% size and as compact as it can be while still using good mechanical switches.

I agree with you that a more multipurpose device has a larger market and that as a writer you don't want to have to lug extra stuff everywhere unless it truly impacts your ability to write in a big way. A good, familiar and easy to use compact mechanical keyboard could add enough value to be worth it. Can also be

I'd like to produce something like this and have actually started to design a layout for it, really minimal (36 keys or so), inspired the Hammond Varityper like the one Tolkien used to use :) I want to build at least one for my own use, maybe more if there are enough people interested.

To clarify:  would you design a device to include a keyboard?

I'm sure you know, but plenty of apps are available that create an uncluttered and distraction-free writing experience on your device.  But they don't offer the more visually pleasing e-ink screen and long battery life.

I'm simply theorizing here, but I wonder if the majority of potential buyers of would prefer a device with or without a keyboard.  Without an attached keyboard, it reduces costs, you don't have to worry about those extra moving parts breaking down, added flexibility for the typist, and most people are not picky about the keyboard they use, so why jack up the entry price with an integrated expensive mechanical keyboard?  With the integrated keyboard, you have everything in one device, I am sure that many people would prefer to have everything in one device for convenience's sake and they are not too picky about the type of keyboard.
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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 10:57:58 »
1) Technology cannot replace discipline in any profession.
2) Innovation is creation of value - in some market - by implementing useful ideas, or by recombining old ones.
3) The assumption that a writer needs support to focus on the job, or that he/she is willing to pay for an overpriced digital typewriter is simple wrong.
4) This thing may have a market, where people perceive that its characteristics provide some value, and therefore are willing to pay for it, but surely that market is not made of writers.


For a successful product standpoint, all irrelevant if enough people think that a device will address the problem they have with discipline and concentration and are willing to pay for it.  Disclaimer:  I may not know what I'm talking about.

The kickstarter is killing it and the price ranges for buying the product at a discount are sold out, so it's definitely got some kind of market.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamleeb/hemingwrite-a-distraction-free-digital-typewriter/description

840 backers can hardly be called a representative demography for an American market, and they are not for a global one for sure. Maybe they are enticed for the novelty-"ness", and the coolness to be seen carrying around one uncommon gadget, that makes them to look somewhat like intellectuals. "Hemingwrite" evokes a master writer for example.

Appearing like a cool intellectual with novelty items in my hands is my favorite past time.

Really, it will be interesting to see the final results of the Kickstarter and the final product.  They seem to have some behind-the-scenes promotional help and a well-timed marketing campaign, because a slew of articles ran online a couple days before the Kickstarter, and the Kickstarter was fully funded within the first couple days.  I'm wondering if there were a few big financial backers, or maybe all the people that read the articles jumped on the funding within the first couple days.
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: distraction-free digital "typewriter"
« Reply #49 on: Tue, 16 December 2014, 11:07:36 »
the thing I have against this entire ordeal  is that it's ANTI ERGONOMIC..

FOrces you to look downwards at the tiny screen..   tiny keyboard screwing with people's shoulders and wrists


No one who ACTUALLY does alot of keyboarding should be considering this for those reasons alone..