Inspired by the handwritten letters he received from his grandmother over the years, designer Nicolas Nahornyj has created a keyboard extension that allows users to create their own typography as they type. While there are plenty of existing fonts that mimic the looser, more spontaneous aesthetic of handwriting, Nahornyj’s Lazy Pen device is unique, in that it captures the style and quirks of the person using it. That is, rather than copy an aesthetic, Nahornyj’s device lets users create their own personalized font as they type.
The keyboard extension consists of two moving palettes, which users rest their palms on as they write. By moving their hands up and down, or back and forth, users can change the shape of the letters they’re typing. Move in one direction, and your letters become looser and messier; in another, the characters start to slant and stretch.
Unfortunately for anyone looking to try it out, the device won’t be commercially available any time soon—rather, it was created as an experiment for Nahornyj’s research on the ways machines affect human interaction. Nahornyj, who is a design student at ECAL, built the keyboard extension to show that personal messages can be transmitted via machine.
“I wanted to combine the practical side of computer-based word processing and the emotional aspect of one's handwriting,” Nahornyj explains. “The goal is to be able to produce one's own typography in real time, thus offering a more personal touch.” Watch the technology in action below.