Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Technology

The Typewriter That Will Mix You a Drink After a Long Day At the Keyboard

DiscoblogBy Veronique GreenwoodSeptember 21, 2011 11:46 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Making a living as a writer is tough, but if you can drink your words, everything will start looking up. A maker going by the handle Morskoiboy has built a typewriter with syringes for keys that does just that: each syringe sucks up a different fluid for each letter, runs the fluid through a microfluidic-style screen to display the letter, then drains the fluid, which can be any booze or mixer you like, into a glass. http://youtu.be/SNQ5sfMJa0s He gives a detailed explanation of how it works on his blog, but here's the crux: When you push down on a key/syringe, a fluid---let's say absinthe for A---is drawn up from a bottle. It's then pumped into several thin plastic tubes, the number of which varies according to the shape of the letter (more on that in the next paragraph), and is routed to the screen. The screen basically works like the display on your digital alarm clock. It has fourteen different compartments on it that, when just the right arrangements are filled with fluid, can display any letter. To use the example of a digital clock, lighting up the six sections around the edge of the display gives you a "0". Lighting up just the two vertical sections on the right side of the display gives you a "1". Here, the number of tubes for each letter corresponds to the number of compartments that must be filled to create its shape. For A, that's seven. Each of the tubes is routed to the correct section by a kind of switchboard, which you can see in action at 2:20 in the above video. The fluid then flows down the screen, displaying the letter (which, let's face it, is not the most important part of this bespoke process), and drains out via a faucet into your glass. Cheers! Any cocktails thus mixed, however, will have to be very carefully designed. A martini with equal parts gin and vermouth is unpleasant, to say the least. And not all fluids you might like to include will have the same surface tension and other physical qualities, so the syringes won't always pull up the same amount. But that's nitpicking. Let's face it---we're jealous. [via BoingBoing]

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In