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At the beginning of the Nineties, when my father bought the first Macintosh computer for his office, he brought back home the Olivetti Lexikon 80 typewriter which he had been using to write until then. It was blue and enormous: it took up over half of the table and needed two people to carry it.
I started churning out my first sentences on its QZERTY keyboard: the keys were so stiff I could only type using my index fingers. In all likelihood that training must have embedded itself in my DNA, as I’m quite heavy-handed even now when it comes to typing.
Vintage is making a comeback, but when it pairs up with technology you know it’s here to stay. Vin-tech design begins with iconic objects: the Ducati Scrambler is back, record-players are reinvented incorporating digital technology and audio speakers mimic our grandparents’ radio, complete with volume knobs.
Whereas, Polaroid Snap has kindly found a cure for the sentimental photography of your outings, now it lets you photograph and print your snap-shots as well as saving them digitally, so you can share them with the friend who’s just moved to London.
I’ve often envied the ease with which Jessica Fletcher would write her detective stories on her typewriter. However, nowadays, how, without loosing all her charm, could she slip into the first coffee shop with WiFi access and quickly edit her latest post?
With a campaign on Indiegogo, the New York start-up Lofree launches the first mechanical keyboard for writers and designers, bringing back the aesthetics of the typewriter – in a lightweight and compact version, of course.
Are you a writer too? Just looking at it makes you feel at home, doesn't it? And it’s not just its vintage look which makes it stand out. The Lofree keyboard has the same layout as its mate by Apple, but the Gateron Blue switches technology adds that something extra, by reproducing the sound of a typewriter's keys.
Then too, the Elretron Inc project is about to be launched on Kickstarter. Penna is a mechanical keyboard which could very well be the direct descendant of the Lettera 22 keyboard – however, your sentences won’t appear on a sheet of a paper but on the screen of your tablet.
Retro aesthetics and pastel tones combine with the modern functionality of a mechanical typewriter, designed to simplify writing; it can even save recurring sentences.
Perfect for computers, tablets and smartphones, which enter into a market which has already a taste for vintage-inspired mechanical keyboards, but at a reasonable price: a third-less than the competition.
They can be linked up to three up to five devices at the same time and the battery lasts up to six months, thanks to the auto-sleep feature.
Both keyboards have raised round keys like those of typewriters. However, Lofree keyboards are also backlit, with three levels of intensity – because you can’t wait till tomorrow to finish your novel. . Quelli di Lofree, però, sono anche retroilluminati con tre diverse intensità - perché il finale del tuo romanzo non può aspettare fino a domattina.