Please note: The following concept is just that – only a concept. This is my own personal idea that I am toying with. The design, software and functionality are subject to change. I had originally launched this device as a crowdfunding project in the past and had difficulties due to a lack of a physical prototype. I had decided to continue developing the idea by building a proof-of-concept since then, but due to continued mixed feedback, I will be making this purely as a hobby device for now. I will keep updating my site with information about the project as I move along, but until I gain some solid support for the concept, the Inkion will remain simply a prototype. Under no circumstance am I promising to finish the prototype completely at this point in time or launching it as a product. At the present moment, since this is a hobby, I also cannot promise any concrete timeframe for the prototype. Thanks in advance to anyone’s feedback, whether negative or positive. Any feedback will help me shape my ideas. If you are interested in seeing the Inkion realized at some future point in time, sign up for my newsletter to get an update.

The Inkion is a portable e-ink writing and reading device with multi-language support, powered by a Raspberry Pi and running the Raspbian OS. It features a minimal, 3D printed design to allow anyone to write or read comfortably anytime and anywhere. 

By 3D printing the device’s enclosure, we are offering backers the opportunity to acquire the Inkion in their choice of two-tone colors and to choose their language keyboard! Yes! You can have English+French or just a German language keyboard!

Interested? Intrigued? Inspired?

My prototype is currently under development and soon to launch on Indiegogo!

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A video of the prototype is coming soon…

Who might need this?

The Inkion is designed with specifically writers in mind.

Laptops and desktop computers are great for performing a wide variety of tasks, including writing (and by no means can they be replaced with the Inkion), but they can be ultimately distracting and straining on the eyes for longs bouts of writing.

The Inkion can allows writers to own and use a device that is catered specifically for writing and reading on an e-ink screen. More specifically, the Inkion can enable a writer to work through a rough draft of their work without worrying about laptop battery power or screen glare from sitting outside.

What about the Kindle?

The Kindle ebook readers are popular devices, right? They are portable and allow distraction-free reading on a glare-free screen. Why not combine that with the ability to WRITE!

Some of the important concerns facing writers are usually: portability, eye-strain and ergonomics. Carrying a bulky old typewriter is gaining popularity, but limiting in terms of formatting. Some writers are single-drafters and like to edit on the go.

Using a laptop presents numerous restrictions, such as being confined to a space with electricity, one free of direct sunlight and ideally indoors. For individuals writing for a living, the strain imposed by LCD screens on the eyes is devastating, especially when faced with writing a novel.

This is why we have built the Inkion – a writing and reading tool which aims to directly addresses the needs of writers.

Hasn’t this been done before though? The Hemingwrite or the Freewrite devices come to mind?

Indeed, a former successfully funded crowdfunding campaign of the Hemingwrite resulted in a remarkable update to the traditional typewriter, and enabled writing on an e-ink screen. After that came a similar copy called the Freewrite. However, we wish to implement features into the Inkion we feel an e-ink device must truly have to be convenient, portable and hassle-free for writers. With that in mind, check out what features the Inkion will have.

The Inkion features:

  • A 5.9” e-ink screen with 12 LED back-lights
  • Powered by the open-source Raspbian OS (Raspberry Pi hardware)
  • A 10,000 maH battery (the average smartphone has about only 2000 maH!)
  • A flip cover clamshell design for screen protection, storage and active transport
  • Flip arm rest with magnetic locking
  • Proprietary screen lock and removal system (just pull off the screen from the keyboard to read)
  • Hexagonal QWERTY keyboard layout
  • Multiple language support and keyboard layouts
  • Automatic or manual cloud backups via WiFi (Dropbox, Google Drive or FTP)
  • USB and SD card connectivity for direct backups
  • Custom writing software (Key feature: a tree-based binder writing editor to organize your work)
  • Autosave (never worry about losing your work, you type it saves!)
  • Custom fonts selection and display
  • Hotkeys on the keyboard to access key features (turn on/off, manual save, turn WiFi on/off, copy/paste, access menu, change font, zoom font)
  • Touchscreen capability
  • Durable ABS 3D printed plastic construction
  • Customized two-tone exterior

KEY FEATURES

Flip-design. With the Inkion we are not trying to reinvent the wheel. Design is minimal, functional and portable, borrowing the convenient flip-design of the laptop, but forgoing its disadvantages by allowing the screen to be detached.

Backlit e-ink screen. Most writers want to see as much text as possible on their screens to facilitate the editing process. The Inkion has a 5.9” eink screen to facilitate this.

Durable construction. We want to make the Inkion waterproof and dustproof so can use it in any conditions! This is one of our stretch goals you can make happen!

Color customization. You can customize the two tone color of the Inkion and the keyboard button colors!

Autosave. Having to constantly press the save button in a word processor can be annoying, as it could potentially crash any moment and you can lose your work. The Inkion’s word processing application will automatically save anything you type both into the built-in storage, to the cloud or to a flash memory USB/SD card to give you peace of mind.

Hexagon-shaped keyboard. The Inkion features a compact keyboard but the hexagon-shaped buttons/layout does not sacrifice ergonomics for portability.

Multiple languages or localization. You can order the Inkion in multiple languages! Yes that’s right, you can have a double or triple language keyboard. Or, you can choose only 1 language layout of your choice!

Cloud backups. The Inkion can be connected via WiFi to your computer to allow automatic or manual backups or directly to Google Drive, Dropbox or FTP.

Touchscreen. Navigating through a large text can be tedious with a keyboard’s arrow buttons. Luckily, simply tapping a spot directly on the screen, will allow you to start editing in that spot! It’s as simple as that! Want to change the font or increase its size? Just tap the menu in the editor to make your selection or you could always use the hotkeys to access key features!

Standard keyboard shortcuts. Press CRTL+B to make your font bold? That’s right, simply drag to select text on screen or use your arrow buttons plus SHIFT, then press the shortcut!
One-stop writing. The Inkion aims to reduce the reliance on a desktop or laptop to complete the writing process.

Custom screensavers. Upload your own screensaver to display when you turn off the device or when it goes into idle mode.

Simple shortcuts

The Inkion features several buttons to boost productivity and make your writing process easier:

Instant On/Off. The Inkion has just one button, press once to turn on and once to turn off. Your work is automatically saved and will open to the place you left off.

Instant Delete. The Inkion allows you to instantly delete a draft or file with a push of the button. But to avoid accidental deletion, a screen will popup asking for confirmation. Simply touch Yes/No and it is done.

Instant New Document. Create a new document with the press of a button, name it and choose where it goes. Its simple, convenient and hassle-free.

Menu. Press this button to exit from the editor to the main selection screen, where you can view and select your documents or start on a new project. You can also access the settings to configure your WiFi network.

Options. Click this button to view the various options available for your current documents, such as Export, Print or Backup.

Simple software – Robust functionality

Inkion will be powered by a custom developed software powered by the Raspbian OS with a goal to be user-friendly, minimalistic and facilitate the writing/editing process and reduce frustration. We want the Inkion to be stress-free to use.

Technical Specifications 

  •  Estimated 4-6 week battery life (built in 10,000 maH battery)
  •  Internal built-in 256mb flash memory
  •  Expandable flash memory slot
  •  USB flash drive slot
  •  Hexagon shaped keyboard layout
  •  5.9” E-ink display w/LED backlighting
  •  Lightweight, slim ABS plastic enclosure

What the Inkion currently lacks

The Inkion prototype in our video is far from the final product we have envisioned. Currently, we have managed to address three core aspects:

  • The ability to type on an e-ink display
  • The hardware setup on which to build
  • Mechanism for opening/closing the lid

However, we need your support in order implement all the features we have outlined above, but mainly some of our immediate tasks upon successful project funding is to:

  • Purchase a more advanced 3D printer
  • Finalize the exterior production and polishing technique
  • Tweak the hardware to allow for a slimmer enclosure
  • Tweak the locking mechanism
  • Finalize the writing software
  • Test multi-language support
  • Source a better e-ink screen with a higher DPI (300 DPI)
  • Conduct tests and experiment with materials to ensure water resistance (if we meet our stretch goal for this)
  • Test cloud backups and autosave (to ensure flawless operation)
  • Test resistance to falls/drops
  • Provide regular updates to backers

Are you skeptical of my project?

I understand your point of view. However, I believe in clarity, transparency and an honest approach. I have a prototype on which to build on and to implement all the features promised for the Inkion.

I envisioned such a device a few years ago and even launched successive projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo (a project titled the “Fusion Writer”).

It was a complete failure. I believe it failed because we had only an idea and no physical prototype. Go ahead, you can Google it! I have nothing to hide!  I now have that which we lacked, evidence of a working device, a more realistic design and vision to make this a great device to serve the needs of authors. I also have a wonderful team which is dedicated to helping me realize my project!

How the Inkion addresses the needs of writers

Attempts have been made to address the needs of writers before, with a large measure of success, such as the Hemingwrite being a major example of a successful Kickstarter project.

This is a project we fell in love with, but quickly decided that writers may potentially be in need of something more.

Our belief is that such a device as the Hemingwrite is a step in the right direction, but also presents numerous unexpected difficulties/disadvantages for writers.

As a result, we have compiled together a series of hypothetical situations:

1. Writers are not usually engaged in writing on a full time basis.

E.g. Carrying a typewriter-like device and a laptop presents difficulty. The Inkion addresses this issue by featuring a compact, slim design akin to a laptop, but exclusively for writing. This means you can carry them together conveniently.

2. Writers usually like to write in different places and different times.

E.g. Many writers prefer to write in solitude at their desk, at home. Others prefer the lively environment of a cafe to stimulate their imagination. Whereas carrying a typewriter around may look great, it also makes in inconvenient to carry with you. The Inkion solves this issue by making it portable enough to fit into a large side pocket either in a jacket, purse or backpack.

3. You want to go camping or to the beach.

E.g. Bringing a laptop on a fishing trip is possible, but hardly worth the risk of dropping it into a lake or dropping it onto some rocks. Bringing one to the beach makes you even more frustrated and stressed due to an in-viewable screen and danger of sand. The Inkion addresses this problem by featuring an a portable design with long-battery life. This will allow you to take it anywhere, anytime. Our stretch goal is to make it waterproof or at least water-resistance as well as dust resistant!

4. You want to take a break from writing and just read an ebook.

E.g. Many writers are also avid readers. The Hemingwrite provides the ability to write distraction-free, but you still need to pull out an ebook reader in order to enjoy your book. The Inkion solves this dilemma by allowing to have just 1 device!

5. You are not on a high budget.

E.g. Most writers are not drowning in fame and wealth until they can find a sponsor, acquire a large fanbase, and sell a lot of books. Our goal is to make the Inkion reasonably affordable so that as many people as possible can consider acquiring one.

What price point are we aiming at?

The Inkion will sell for between $500 US but will be priced at $450 for Early Bird backers HOWEVER we want to reduce this pricerange!  Most of the initial expenses will go towards finalizing the hardware/software development, finalizing kinks in the design and to upgrading our 3D printer! With a much more advanced printer, we can create our parts directly, saving costs on manufacturing!

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