Nanotouch: A Tiny AVR Media Thing


[Rossum] is at it again. This time, he has created a super tiny media device to get us drooling. You might recall him from the 8-bit device we showed you before. The Nanotouch is roughly the dimensions of a 96×64 OLED screen(slightly larger than a quarter), with about 1/3 to 1/2 of an inch of stuff packed behind it.  The screen itself is mounted atop 4 buttons. This allows you to depress the screen edges for navigation.  He does mention that this design needs a little work to prolong the life of the screen, but we really like the intuitive way of navigating.  At its heart is an ATmega32u4.

We thought his last version was fantastic, but this one has us enamored. He states he’ll publish schematics and code, as he did before. We just didn’t want to wait to share.

[thanks Joakim]

43 thoughts on “Nanotouch: A Tiny AVR Media Thing

  1. So it’s a tiny homemade version of the Iriver Lplayer? Mind you, that’s no criticism – it’s a tiny matchbox-sized music and video player and it works great (I use an Lplayer and it’s wonderful). It blows my mind that they’ve built one Even Smaller.

    Well done!

    And where did you get that screen? My old Lplayer LCD was cracked in turbulence on a plane trip and I’ve searched everywhere for a replacement 2″ QVGA screen. Anyone have ideas?

  2. that truly is a thing of beauty. I love the UI. I would never have thought of the buttons behind the screen, but it totally works! wonder how long it’ll take before you see something similar at radio shack or walmart.

  3. This is amazing, not only the hardware but also the graphics manipulation using an µP with only 32k of flash.

    @Paul: he provides a link in his page to an eBay seller. But they’re no 2″, they’re 1.04″!

  4. sweet! I see the Atmega32u4 is gaining in popularity. (this is good, because they’re non-stocked chips at many outlets – I want to see this change)

    I wonder if he used the stock Atmel bootloader or hacked his own in there.

    In any case, what an excellent piece of work!

  5. i intended to build something very similiar to this. i was thinking of using capacitive inputs placed behind the screen (maybe foils glued to the back of the display). but i dont know how this would work out.

    the screen looks like it is missing vertical scanlines at the end of the video. Is the display already wearing down on mechanical stress?

    i want to see how he managed to cram everything on such a small pcb.

  6. @Greg I had one of those, it was awesome!

    The only problem I had with it was I tried to make a custom cable to charge it with using my Solio (solar charger) for a trip to Europe.

    Anyway, short story long, since you charge with a cable that goes from USB to custom 8th inch mini, I accidentally wired it wrong and blew out the internals sending 5v where it didn’t need to go.

    Oh well, I did like it and wondered why it never took off, as well.

  7. damn, thats even smaller than those screens they put in those magazines.
    idk wtf you would do with something that small, but it would be funny to stick some hilarious GIFs on, lol wearable GIFs

  8. shoulda watched the video first. its nice. buttons everywhere. it would still make a nice pin/badge thing. and that thing kids pass around the classroom but this time the teacher never finds it cuz its so damn small

  9. cool stuff. i have played around with those small oled displays, and can attest to the fragility of the fpcb connection. borked two of them myself. …starts with black rows in the image. this would probably work great if he found the right buttons, with a very small travel.

  10. @Rob- a quarter as in $0.25, the standard US measure of scale for small things.

    I was remarking recently how touchscreen smartphones are the computer panels sci-fi always told us we’d have attached to our wrists, but in real life it’s easier to hold them in your hands. Given the size and simple control method I would totally have one of these on a watch strap.

  11. I’ve played around with these things before, and found that (for my board at least) putting the buttons on the back of the board works better (if you then mount all of it in an enclosure). That said, I am currently working on a slightly larger (2-3″) version right now that will be touchscreen based, maybe when I get done with it I’ll post a link…although my coding skills are nowhere near this guy’s skills. But I will be looking through his code in hopes of learning a few tricks for that snazzy interface :)

    Kudos to you dude, your projects never cease to impress.

  12. Where can I learn more!?

    Honestly, if I could I’d want to ask this guy how he went about getting the skills he has today!
    I’d love to learn, I just ordered my first PIC (Arduino) a couple days ago…hoping I can catch up on learning hardware and lower level programming.

    I once attempted to teach myself assembly, but just didn’t have the resources or patience to follow through.

  13. @shawn k.:

    Start by looking at this guy’s code. You shouldn’t need much in the way of resources to learn assembly, just patience. Most everything, except for the CPU, is freeware.

    If you *really* want to learn how stuff like this works, endeavor to learn how a compiler takes C-code and compiles it into assembly and then machine code.

    If you can understand this process, the world is your oyster.

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