Pedometer + Typewriter

Hey everyone! Just a quick post in hopes of clearing my drafts.
Remember this post I wrote back in November with promise of an explaination?


Here’s what really happened:
My late night random theory as such written in prettier English then ensued in my head:

The Use of a Pedometer as a Manual Word Counter
“If you consider the end (or beginning) of a word including the space used as one word you could take into account of every space as a measure of counting how many words there is in a particular passage. I.E: [] denoting a space in the following short sentences —
“[]Hi[]there,[]How[]was[]your[]day?” or
“Hi[] there,[]how[]was[]your[]day?[]”
— With total word count of six.”

So I set out to test out my theory with Blimey! I already had a high-end pedometer and I just tied it to the spacebar and let it hang loose. Blimey had to sit on the table with the front out as well to accommodate the pedometer and wrote out the above passage.




Pretty good for short passages! I went on to write a 200 odd word passage and then it all crumbled, haha!
Mainly because:

  • It took too much effort to remember to consider the space before the first word in the line (thus all the crossed out first letters in the sample above.)
  • The flow usually associated with typing on a typewriter was greatly affected. I found myself needing to stop and check the pedometer so often and scribble down somewhere if I had pressed the space bar an extra time or not.
  • Reliability of the pedometer — although my pedometer was pretty high end it doesn’t show the immediate “steps” taken. Its display feature was a little delayed for some reason. I used a FitBit.

Overall I’m sure it’s do-able: the results above showed a 5 word difference (82 words written, 87 shown on the pedometer) but that might just have been my haste. Its a good result for first try though!
I think it just might be easier to scan it in and have the digitiser to work its magic. ;)

Hope you enjoyed this!
Or think I’m a little crazy.
Because looking back at this idea — I think I am, hah!



  1. Ha! Good thinking! Too bad these things aren’t sensitive enough, but it’s probably possible to find another hack like this to count the words using the spacebar. Maybe even with a minus-button to delete double spacings.


    1. Well, I think it will work with a different pedometer – just need to try it out when I do get one! I had another idea with just a counter under the space bar and a toothpick/presser stuck to it. Then I could have another counter on the side as a delete!


  2. Well, that’s clever — I never thought of this!

    Some old typewriters (office machines) are equipped with a word counter, which I assume counted depressions of the space bar. You got a bonus word for every sentence, I guess, with the typical double space after a period.


    1. I would think the algorithm will translate multi-spacings as one space or something.
      Ever since this post went live I’ve been thinking about the double counters. I’ll have to try it soon!


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