If you’re reading this, you almost certainly have a complicated relationship with screens. Every year that passes, they become larger and increasingly present in our lives. Meanwhile, we continue to embrace the technology all while complaining about the hold it has on our lives.
Astrohaus’ products have long occupied the strange nexus of technologies designed to wean us off other technologies. Here that largely pertains to the idea of “distraction-free” typing. Our computers have come a long way since the days of the single-function word processor, and what the hardware startup’s Freewhite products presuppose is: what if they didn’t?
The new Freewrite Alpha continues the company’s push to strip the process of writing down to its bare essentials. This time out, that means an almost calculator-style monochrome screen capable of displaying two to six lines of text at a time, depending on how small you go with the font.
“Traditional laptops serve as a playground for procrastination,” Head of Product Sean O’Rourke says in a release. “The temptation of checking email and social media is persistent and does not allow your brain to stay in writing mode. Freewrite Alpha’s singular purpose and focused interface leads you to one thing – writing. The results are consistent, Freewrite devices bring a new ease to writing and increase productivity by as much as 3x.”
Certainly distraction is a very real concern. I’m writing this on Monday morning, and I’ve already checked social media more times than I care to mention in the process. Like other Freewrites before it, the Alpha attempts to minimize those intrusions, while saving the text for posterity by way of on board Wi-Fi that syncs the text to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote.
The product sports a mechanical keyboard and around 100 hours of battery on a charge, helped along by that tiny screen. When you do finally run out of juice, it’s rechargeable via the USB-C port on the back.
If all of that sounds good to you, Astrohaus is currently taking preorders through Indiegogo. Early adopters will get the Alpha for $249 — or $100 off retail. It’s expected to start shipping next July.
The Freewrite Alpha boldly asks: Can a small screen be too small? by Brian Heater originally published on TechCrunch