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‘Hemingwrite’ Typing Device Aimed at Distraction-Free Writing

Design & Architecture

A modern day twist on the typewriter helps people craft prose without the risk of being distracted by social media and other apps

Sara Roncero-Menendez
  • 27 october 2014

Writing can be a particularly difficult challenge in this day and age, when there are tons of other apps, services and devices all vying for your attention, even on your own laptop. While there are plenty of programs that can shut off the web, there are still phones and games still silently waiting to tempt writers during fits of a creative block. For those writers desperate to get work done but finding that they just can’t seem to shut it all off, a blast from the past might be just what’s need, albeit it with a modern twist.

The Hemingwrite is designed like an old-fashioned typewriter but does also manages to keep some modern technology. It has a 6-week battery life so its perfect if you write better away from civilization, ample memory, instant on so no time is wasted on booting up, and a high contrast screen so it’s easy to read in daylight or at nighttime. It also has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, allowing it to connect to Google Docs, Evernote, and the Cloud. The best part of all is that stylish old-school look and feel of a typewriter that completes the writing experience.

hemingwrite details.jpg

Adam Leeb, co-founder and head designer, tells PSFK that the idea for the Hemingwrite sprung when discussing writing practices with co-founder Patrick Paul:

Patrick and I came up with the idea for the Hemingwrite after a discussion about writing productivity. He had mentioned the technique of separating the composition and editing portions of writing and the power of this practice. We discussed our desire to write but without the ability to create prose like a professional, we needed all the help we could get…It was then that the idea for the Hemingwrite came about. ‘What if there was a minimalist device that took all the distractions away but also enhanced the writing experience?’

We set out to build this device, a modernized, stylized word processor. I started to get really excited about the idea once I started researching how writers compose their work (note, neither I nor Patrick are writers!). It was amazing to find out that a huge percentage of writers do everything they can to not write on a computer. Whether they choose to write long hand, on a typewriter, or on a vintage word processor, there seemed to be a recognition that distractions are destructive to the writing process.

While you still have to make sure to put your phone away and make sure you’re not tempted to turn on the TV, the Hemingwrite cuts out the social media and technological distractions while still keeping you connected enough to transfer your hard work whenever you want it. It’s a perfect blend of old and new that can help distracted students or professionals get down to business.

Leeb adds that he hopes that, no matter how much Hemingwrite users actually craft prose, that they find something by engaging with writing without technological distractions:

For the people that already appreciate the separation of composition and editing, we aim to give them the best possible writing experience with better hardware and a beautiful device. For the rest of us, the Hemingwrite provides an introduction into the power of composition without distractions.

hemingwrite red.jpg

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