Type Properly Or Suffer The Consequences
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Sunday, 31 January 2021

It's a well known fact that if you adopt good typing practices you can increase your productivity - either as a technical writer or as a programmer - but is a keyboard that delivers electric shocks for poor typing style really the answer?

This project comes from Andrew DeGonge, aka 3DPrintedLife and aims to inculcate good typing habits. As its video reveals, it's a zany mix of homebrew hardware, based on a Raspberry Pi Zero and neural networks and all its code is open sourced on GitHub

In order to want to clone this project you'll need to share the attitude expressed in the video that "pain is fun", Personally I prefer the carrot to the stick - and perhaps that's why despite a long career at a keyboard I still make errors. Even so I do like the idea of a keyboard that provides feedback and admire the use of a few simple components - some connective sensors, conductive tape to convert a mechanical keyboard into a data collection device that can then use machine learning, the neural network aspect of the project, to respond to "plucking", the one fingered typing also know as hunt and peck, and to slow and inaccurate typing.  


To deliver an electric shock, the project uses the mechanism from a toy shock pen - and while this delivers enough of a tingle for the user to be motivated to avoid it it isn't the stuff of the torture chamber. It's the powerful LEDs to deter you from looking at the keyboard that I would find more painful. 

The project includes training exercises - and there's an advanced level for those whose typing skills are already at an intermediate level.

On I Programmer we've previously argued that keyboard skills are important and should be part of early education, an idea that Finland adopted some years ago. I can't see the electric shock tactic being popular, or even permitted in the classroom - but now so much learning is done remotely perhaps the kids who buy the shock pens will break them open and follow the instructions to make them into a torturing typing tutor.typeshocksq


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 January 2021 )