Italian designer Jody Del Bianco reminisces of a time when the constant barrage of distractions delivered by notifications, texts, and emails were yet to forever change our daily lives – a time when analog devices like the typewriter permitted singularly focused expression and productivity. Oh, what a time it was! It’s this memory of the pre-computer era that has inspired his concept e-ink input device, Flowo.
The Flowo (short for Flow Word) may appear foreign to a generation who have never had the pleasure of sitting behind a genuine mechanical typewriter (or at least its quasi-digital successor, the word processor); the design shares a striking likeness to that of a Logitech wireless keyboard with a roller-shaped e-ink display attached, a cylindrical screen mimicking the action of typing onto paper as once was the norm.
The impression of an old school typewriter is further expressed with the inclusion of two physical side knobs, the left control used for navigating the Flowo’s menu options and the right permitting the user to scroll line to line across the document as if viewing a sheet of typing paper.
Of course, this being a digital device imagined for use in 2022 and beyond, the concept is imagined with the inclusion of an SD card reader and USB-C port for firmware updates and for direct uploads or downloads. Del Bianco also imagines including Wi-Fi connectivity so typists can send finished documents to the cloud with seamless ease.
Let us only hope if the Flowo does ever cross from the realm of concept to a real productivity tool, it comes equipped with the option to simulate the distinct sounds of typeheads striking the ink ribbon just like a truly mechanical keyboard. Throw in the option to use Bluetooth-enabled Whiteout to “erase” mistakes, and consider us interested.