Typewriter Paints Portraits With Letters

An archaic typewriter gains a second life as an ASCII portrait creator.

Kristen Nozell
Kristen Nozell on December 20, 2013. @kristen_n

Clack-Clack FACE is a device that allows users to create an ASCII portrait of their face in real time. The tool was assembled by recent graduates Amanda Gelb, Jinyi Fu and Quingyuan Chen and shown at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program Winter Show.

The team used a 1961 Royal Empress typewriter as a base and linked each key to an Arduino board, allowing the device to track what the user types, and a small projector that projects those typed letters onto the surface mounted in front of the typewriter. A webcam maps the silhouette of the person typing using different brightness levels, and the projected letters are only filled into the dark areas. Once the piece is complete, the user can hit a newly formed ‘print’ key, which is connected to a laser printer.

See the clip from Engadget below for a demonstration:

Source, Images: Engadget
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TOPICS: Arts & Culture
Kristen Nozell

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Kristen is a freelance writer currently based in Amman, Jordan, regularly contributing to PSFK. Besides her passion for branding and design, she is an avid traveler and language-learner. Follow her on twitter and instagram: @kristen_n