QuickType - a New Way to Type!




Introduction: QuickType - a New Way to Type!

About: 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 instructables and arduino from the Instructables user ASCAS. Check out his profile too.

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

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

Here is the code and upload it to your board

String readString;

void setup() {



void loop()

{ while ( Serial.available() )

{ delay( 3 );

char c = Serial.read();

readString += c;


if ( readString.length() >0 ) {

Serial.println( readString );




Step 4: 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

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

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.



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45 Discussions

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

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

1 reply

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


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 !!!


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 !!!


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

1 reply


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

4 replies

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

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!

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

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! :-)

You may have to click playlist and click on quicktype