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iTypewriter is a retro iPad keyboard for kooky hipsters

Turn your iPad into a clickity-clackity typewriter with this quirky retro iPad accessory that could make word processing a whole lot more Zooey.

If you're slouched in a coffee house in Shoreditch, wearing a flat cap and braces and wondering how you can stand out from the identically quirky youth around you, the iTypewriter concept should fit the bill.

It's a ludicrous blast from technology's past, letting retro-hungry iPad-toting hipsters like you take a kooky step backwards to simpler days of mechanical word processing. Zooey Deschanel will love it.

This updated artefact is the brainchild of Austin Yang, a product design and mechanical engineering student at Edinburgh College of Art.

The iTypewriter is a landscape iPad dock with mechanical hammers capped with a material similar to that used in the nibs of capacitive styluses. These align with the touch keys on your iPad and deliver a tiny electronic discharge to mimic your sticky little finger prods -- sounds scary, but hopefully it's not going to hammer holes into your precious iPad screen. Check out this video:

"For some specific group of users, this product provides an easier way to type on the iPad," says Yang, somewhat optimistically. "People can recollect old experiences and memory by the familiar appearance and haptic feedback."  

The iTypewriter is by no means a complete concept. The mechanical keys don't always manage to hit the desired letter due to slight alignment issues, so in its current state it's not going to be the fastest way of writing that avant-garde script you're working on. Having said that, the iTypewriter isn't set for production anytime soon, so there's plenty of time to hammer out any creases.

But if you're dead set on turning your state-of-the-art tablet into a rustic relic, there are other typewriter accessories available for tablets, such as the USB Typewriter, which sits in front of your computer or tablet like an extremely cumbersome keyboard.

Alternatively, you can buy a DIY kit for £49, providing you already have a typewriter, which is more cost-effective than paying the staggering £519 for the complete unit. With one of these you can click and clack until your office sounds like a 1930s newsroom -- it's just a shame it weighs the same as your desk.

Yang has also developed the iTurntable dock for your iPhone or iPod, featuring an imitation rotating LP, complete with functional reading arm to switch between play and pause. Sadly this is also just a prototype, so don't go trawling unbearably hip second-hand stores and dilapidated record shops looking for one.

So all you retro ravers and ol'time cravers, show your support for the iTypewriter here. Punch some typewriter shaped holes in our comments box, or make your feelings known on our newfangled Facebook page.