Japanese Vaprilware: Google Translate bubble wrap input

If there’s one society on our planet that takes April Fool’s Day very seriously, it’s the Japanese. Between their mannerisms and game shows, April 1st perfectly condenses everything down into a trope. And Google is no laggard in playing around.

It has “released” the Google Japanese Input Puchi Puchi Version. The “puchi” is the onomatopoeia for when bubble wrap, the input tool, is popped. And if there’s anything better than a keyboard for the most tactile input, you gotta know it’s bubble wrap. And while Google isn’t really mass producing them, it has open-sourced real firmware and component designs for the Puchi Puchi reader.

All sheets must have a width of five units with corresponding bubble spec, but can be coded to format multiple input layouts such as Braille, QWERTY and others. The default is GODAN romaji. The mechanism, available in stationery as well as a mobile “Handy Type” tool, reads the air pressure in each bubble to determine input.

If you’re looking for a DIY project this month, the GitHub repository is right here. Or, if you want a more immediate response to your translation queries, use Google Translate.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.