Introduction: QuickType - a New Way to Type!

Picture of QuickType - a New Way to Type!

Hello! Today I am going to be showing you how to build the QuickType. What the QuickType does is that it types out whatever you say into the serial monitor of the arduino with the press of a button from the QuickType app I developed on MIT App Inventor. It uses bluetooth, so it can be used from far distances about 15 meters away. After it has been typed into the serial monitor, all you have to do is copy and paste it into microsoft word or any other writers you may have to fix up the grammar and punctuation. I made this project because I just entered high school this year and we need to type many essays from our rough drafts. I can only type about 30 words per minute and the QuickType can type it for me as fast as I can talk. Now it is faster for me type my essays and I can pretty much type it from any where in my home. I have actually typed all of this paragraph out with my QuickType. And best of all about the QuickType is that its housing is an altoids tin! I hope you like, build, and find the QuickType as helpful and convenient as I do. It is a great gift for anyone in highschool. Be sure to vote for me in the homemade gifts contest. Now let's get started!

Step 1: Get the Materials

Picture of Get the Materials

You will need:

1x Arduino that has tx and rx pins for bluetooth. I'll be using an arduino uno.

1x Bluetooth module with tx, rx, gnd, and vcc pins. I will be using an hc-06. You can find these on ebay for cheap. About seven dollars or so.

A adapter to power and code your arduino with.

A computer that has the arduino IDE installed

1x Altoids tin

An android phone

Electrical Tape

sharpie marker

4 female to male jumpers

drill or dremel or anything to make a hole in an altoids tin

tape or glue to hold arduino down inside of the altoids tin

Step 2: Download the App

I developed the QuickType app on mit app inventor. In this step there is a download for the app. To download it go to settings and then click on security and then check allow installation from unknown sources. Then download the app by downloading the apk to your computer then emailing the file to your phone and download it again from your phone and then install. After you are done with that go back to the settings and turn installation from unknown sources off.

Step 3: Upload the Code

Picture of Upload the Code

Here is the code and upload it to your board

String readString;

void setup() {



void loop()

{ while ( Serial.available() )

{ delay( 3 );

char c =;

readString += c;


if ( readString.length() >0 ) {

Serial.println( readString );




Step 4: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

All you have to wire is the bluetooth module to the arduino attach jumpers to bluetooth module

Bluetooth Arduino

VCC to 5V

GND to GND next to 5V

TX to RX

RX to TX

Follow the picture in this step

Step 5: Making the Case

Picture of Making the Case

Take the altoids and put the arduino in without power running through it. Make a dot where the altoids tin will be drilled or cut for the cable to connect to the arduino. Drill or cut that part off. Insulate the inside with electrical tape without covering the hole. Place the arduino inside and glue or tape it down if you want. Put the bluetooth module inside and close it up. Now you can decorate the outside or keep it how it is. I kept mine how it is because i can store the adapter inside the tin so it looks normal when it is not in use.

Step 6: How to Use QuickType

Picture of How to Use QuickType

1. Plug in your arduino into your computer

2. Open Arduino IDE

3. Open serial port ( CTRL + Shift + m)

4. Open your phone

5. Go to settings then click on bluetooth then turn the bluetooth on then scan for devices and pair your bluetooth module. If it asks for a password try 0000 or 1234. If none works then see if there is a manual with the module. If not contact the manufacturer for password.

6. Open QuickType app

7. Press Connect

8. Click on bluetooth module name

9. Once it is connected you will return to the Homescreen of the app

10. Press QuickType

11. Mic should pop up and then speak a couple of words

12. Look at serial monitor to see the words you have said

13. Now to copy the words highlight them with your cursor and press CTRL + C

14. Now you can paste the words anywhere and edit the grammar.

Step 7: Video of the QuickType

Here is a video of the QuickType QuickTyping.

Step 8: You Did It

That is it make sure to vote for me in the homemade gifts contest. And for the formlabs so I can win 3d printer to print toys out for my little brother in to make a less tight case for this project

Step 9: Update

Here is the new app. It lets you type from your phone keyboard. I also inclded the .aia file so you can modify the app.


ASCAS (author)2015-01-09

AWESOME! I enjoyed reading it. Keep it up! :D

sarju7 (author)ASCAS2015-01-11

Thanks so much. I love your instructables. It so great to be told my instructables is awesome by you.

Yonatan24 (author)2015-12-23

Nice! Don't most phones (and some computers) have this option already built-in?

sarju7 (author)Yonatan242015-12-23

Yeah this was just a fun thing to do. But then i found

yhdesai (author)2015-02-01


Luc Volders (author)2015-01-19

Indeed Awesome. I made it with an Arduino nano and it works great.

Would you do me a favor please.

Could you send me or publish generally the App inventor code (source) I want at least to translate it in Dutch. Please.

Anyway: great work !!!


Luc Volders (author)2015-01-19

Indeed Awesome. I made it with an Arduino nano and it works great.

Would you do me a favor please.

Could you send me or publish generally the App inventor code (source) I want at least to translate it in Dutch. Please.

Anyway: great work !!!


mayedah (author)2015-01-08

The device gets connected by the bluetooth but when we spoken nothing is being typed

sarju7 (author)mayedah2015-01-11

it types into the serial monitor

Trecool771 (author)2015-01-04

Or, this:

Check out "Voice Recognition":

Trecool771 (author)2014-12-22


To improve, you can have this device type dictated words directly into a word processor. You would do this by making the computer see the Arduino as a keyboard.

To make the computer see the arduino as a keyboard, there are two methods:

1) Buy the arduino micro, leonardo, or due; these boards have a built in core library that make keyboard emulation as simple as Keyboard.print(<insert string>);

2) If you don't want to buy another board, you can make the computer see the uno as a keyboard (though it is a much more difficult process.) Through the DFU (Device Firmware Update), you can upload a firmware that makes the arduino uno's USB chip (the 16u2) act as a HID (Human Interface Device), as opposed to its normal USB-Serial firmware. If you upload a HID Keyboard firmware to the uno, however, your device will not be able to recieve sketches (Sketches must be uploaded before DFU) or talk to other serial devices (I think. If this is true, TTL serial may still be accomplishable via the SoftwareSerial library, or you could buy a board with more than one USB chip, though that would defeat the purpose of using the DFU method in the first place.) If that didn't just make any sense, look at theselinks.

On another note, not all Bluetooth breakout boards will output TTL serial Strings. (Though most will.) You might want to address this in your instructions.)

Cool project!

-A fellow arduino inventor

sarju7 (author)Trecool7712014-12-23

Thanks and I am gonna get a leonardo or something small like it that has keyboard functions so it will be as small as a regular usb

Trecool771 (author)sarju72015-01-04

Another thing you could do is drop the arduino entireley, and write your app so your computer sees your phone as a bluetooth keyboard, or even drop the hardware entireley (Phone too) and write a program, probably in java or C, to do the same thing. If you were to do the latter with C, you could make run as a floating widget (windows widget library, I think there is one) (like a little picture of a mic) that you can click on to start voice to text (google dictating API, or something) outputing to a word file (MANY libraries for this, ex: string to word file).

Sorry if this makes no sense, I'm tired.

Now I'm interested! Thanks!

Trecool771 (author)sarju72014-12-25

:) Great!

PS: on a plane; I can't believe that they have on-flight wifi now!

sarju7 (author)Trecool7712014-12-26

Thanks and which airlines would love to have wifi on a plane?

wstepjim (author)2014-12-17

you're 13 and made this??

sarju7 (author)wstepjim2014-12-17

im 14

espdp2 (author)sarju72014-12-31

Oh, in that case, we're not as impressed. Haha, just kidding! This is seriously cool for anybody to come up with, but major props for tackling something complex and sharing with the rest of us.

One word of caution, NOBODY speaks the same way as they write, especially for school papers. Your opening paragraph is a good example. It makes sense, but it still reads quite differently than text composed on a keyboard. I think the main difference is the amount of formatting, paragraph separation, and bullet commenting. Just proofread really well before turning in your assignments! :-)

gparmar1 made it! (author)2014-12-29

I had an arduino board. I bought a bluetooth board specially for this project. It was pretty simple to make it. Thanks!

sarju7 (author)gparmar12014-12-30

Wow I didn't think anyone one would even build this. You made my day thank you so much

thefatmerman (author)2014-12-29

I got a video of an led jar.

sarju7 (author)thefatmerman2014-12-30

You may have to click playlist and click on quicktype

DanB3 (author)2014-12-24

Can I substitute an Android phone with an Android tablet (Galaxy Tab4)?

sarju7 (author)DanB32014-12-24

Yeah but the app i developed may not be the right size for it

DanB3 (author)sarju72014-12-25

Since my Tablet (10.1") is larger than a phone then it won't be any worse - correct?

sarju7 (author)DanB32014-12-25

it shouldnt be a problem. Everything will work fine except the buttons will be smaller

DanB3 (author)sarju72014-12-26

I can live with that - thanks, Sarju7!

Build_it_Bob (author)2014-12-21

Very creative ! You have a great future ahead of you .


sarju7 (author)Build_it_Bob2014-12-23


callyfornium (author)2014-12-21

Do you think you could save this code in a file? Having trouble selecting it on my phone.

sarju7 (author)callyfornium2014-12-22

Sorry I can't right now my laptops at the repair shop but what you can do is go on the mobile site and you'll be able to select from there

Fission Chips (author)2014-12-15

Looks pretty cool! Nice job explaining your process. Keep on making cool things! Also, if you're thinking of printing toys, check out my Instructable here:

Great job, keep it up!

sarju7 (author)Fission Chips2014-12-16

Thanks and I will check it out

larystoy (author)sarju72014-12-22

Congratulations, and keep learning

I moved from the US to the Philippines, I have a Huawei smart phone with built in speech to text.

The phone will NOT work here in the Philippines, but the speech to text feature was one of the neat features I enjoyed on the Huawei.


Can your app work independently, without requiring a cellular service (IE my dead phone)?

Thanks for this article and again keep on leaning.


sarju7 (author)larystoy2014-12-22

yes it will work as long as you have bluetooth on your phone

craighissett (author)2014-12-16

i would love to see this on an Arduino Leonardo/clone with a 32u4 chip on it - a slight modification to the code using the keyboard library would allow for typing directly into a word document.

karazi (author)craighissett2014-12-18

Is it possible to use this to voice-type into any active text box/document?

craighissett (author)karazi2014-12-18

Hey Karazi
The 32u4 based arduinos such as the Leonardo, using the Keyboard library, act just as if it's a keyboard plugged into your machine. they can even control the mouse!
So yes they can type directly into an active textbox or document; they could even open the document if you add the keyboard shortcuts :-)

karazi (author)craighissett2014-12-19

Well I think this is an extremely cool invention (props Sarju!) and think making a smaller, more portable version would be helpful in carrying it around and plugging it into whatever workstation i'm at to use it to type. Replicating this and going a little further with it would be my first real arduino project (aside from testing with LEDs and some sensors and such) and think it could be quite useful in my day to day. Guess I have my research cut out for me with the Leonardo...need to get my hands on one too! Any other ideas/resources welcome! Thanks!

craighissett (author)karazi2014-12-19

You can get a pro micro with a 32u4 of Ebay for a few pounds to play with - it's what i use in my footswitches. works a treat!
Give me a shout if you need any help and i will do what i can!

sarju7 (author)craighissett2014-12-16

That is a good idea. Im gonna try it out

craighissett (author)sarju72014-12-16

Let me know how works out - i use a pro micro with a 32u4 chip at the heart of a footswitch that sends keystrokes (keyboard shortcuts) to a pc to control music recording software :-)

tytower (author)2014-12-16

Click on Playlist and go to quicktype.otherwise it runs through other videos first.Nusiance!

I'm a bit sus of this . where is the translation of voice into text mbeing done . The google mike bit is not explained at all? Download the app and rename it to .zip , open it and I am none the wiser

MrE (author)tytower2014-12-16

I think what this is ,from just my opinion is a bluetooth mic reciever for the app on his phone using text to speech. essentially his app is running the info on his phone and he has it linked to his computer with an arduino and a bluetooth board.His english is really broken and my knowledge is finite so, also hos ible is not really descriptive.

MrE (author)MrE2014-12-16

After watching the video that is exactly what it is. He is using google voice to do the actual work and having the output bluetoothed to his computer. While this is a really neat ible it does need ah air more explaining.

tomatoskins (author)2014-12-15

I love it. Voice to text is something that I have always been facinated with!

sarju7 (author)tomatoskins2014-12-16

Thanks so much.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hey!!! My name is Sarju. I am currently 16 years old and I love to program and tinker with my arduinos. I got into making ... More »
More by sarju7:Python Gmail CheckerL.E.D Tester and Container JarQuickType - A new way to type!
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