For more than a century typewriters were the weapon of choice for professional writers, office workers and those of us with messy handwriting. Then came the age of personal computers complete with the internet and its infinite reel of comical cat videos. A pair of US entrepreneurs believe this has been to the detriment of productivity and are looking to reign things in a little. The Hemingwrite typewriter offers the bare essentials for a writer in the digital age, no email alerts or Youtube recommendations in sight.
Hemingwrite features a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches and a 6-inch e-paper display, all protected by an aluminum casing. As the user pounds away, their work is synced over Wi-Fi to Hemingwrite's web application, dubbed Postbox. From here, Postbox can be configured to automatically synch your words with common applications such as Google Docs, Evernote or Microsoft Word.
A knob on the left allows the user to navigate between a maximum of three live documents, while a knob on the right switches the Wi-Fi off and on. There's also a dedicated print key and a status bar that can be set to display a timer or a word and character count. Battery life is estimated at an impressive four to six weeks.
It is with a certain degree of skepticism that I describe the features of the Hemingwrite typewriter. I'm not entirely convinced that the answer to procrastination is as simple as shutting out the internet. In lieu of firing up Facebook, one might reach for their phone or check to see if the fridge magically restocked itself since the last time they checked. Failing that you can always stare out the window for a while.
With that said, writing is quite the personal thing and everybody has their own process. Not needing to navigate a minefield of apps, notifications and inbox messages when starting up the machine might be just the thing to cultivate the next generation of Ernest Hemmingways.
If this sounds like the answer to your writing woes, then you can head over to the Hemingwrite Kickstarter campaign where the funds are rolling in thick and fast. The team is well on its way to hitting its US$250,000 goal, having amassed more than $180,000 at the time of writing. Early pledges of $349 are gone, but there are some left at the $369 level with shipping slated for September 2015. Hemingwrite is set to retail at $499 if it does eventually hit the shelves.
You can check out the pitch video below.