Students at Northwestern University have come up with a special pen that’s specially designed to help people with Parkinson’s disease keep writing.

Northwestern journalist-in-training Izzy Mokotoff had been getting letters each week from her grandfather.

But in spring 2022, her “pops,” as she called him, said his tremors from Parkinson’s disease had gotten so strong that he just couldn’t write anymore.

Mokotoff thought there must be a solution out there already, but when she looked, she couldn’t find one.

So she and engineering student Alexis Chan decided to develop their own.

Their SteadyScrib pen is wider than a standard pen, which makes it easier to hold. And it’s full of magnets.

That makes it heavier, and it keeps the pen close to the accompanying steel clipboard.

The board keeps the paper in place even if the writer is shaking or having tremors..

They gave Mokotoff’s pops the very first prototype, by the way.

The final version of SteadyScrib is still being developed, thanks in part to a $20,000 grant, but they’re hoping it will be available for sale by the end of 2023.

And that would be something to write home about.

Now, if you prefer typing, we’ve got a site for you.

The “Shift Happens” simulator lets you type on a virtual typewriter.

It was a pretty big reminder for me that typing on a computer keyboard isn’t the same as going old school.

On this site, if you type the wrong character, you’ll have to X over it or white it out, and when you get to the end of a line, don’t forget to hit the carriage return.

At least you don’t have to replace the ink ribbons.

A pen designed for Parkinson’s patients (Northwestern)

An Interactive Typewriter Simulator With a Realistic Feel (Laughing Squid)

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Screenshot via Northwestern University