Keyboard shortcuts are great. Even so, a person can only be expected to remember so many shortcuts and hit them accurately while giving a presentation over Zoom. [Sebastian] needed a good set of of shortcuts for OBS and decided to make a macro keyboard to help out. By the time he was finished, [Sebastian] had macro’d all the things and built a beautiful and smart peripheral that anyone with a pulse would likely love to have gracing their desk.
The design started with OBS, but this slick little keyboard turned into a system-wide assistant. It assigns the eight keys dynamically based on the program that has focus, and even updates the icon to show changes like the microphone status.
This is done with a Python script on the PC that monitors the running programs and updates the macro keeb accordingly using a serial protocol that [Sebastian] wrote. Thanks to the flexibility of this design, [Sebastian] can even use it to control the office light over MQTT and make the CO2 monitor send a color-coded warning to the jog wheel when there’s trouble in the air.
This project is wide open with fabulous documentation, and [Sebastian] is eager to see what improvements and alternative enclosure materials people come up with. Be sure to check out the walk-through/build video after the break.
Inspired to make your own, but want to start smaller? There are plenty to admire around here.
8 thoughts on “Dynamic Macro Keyboard Controls All The Things”
Which software did you use to create the assembly animation?
Blender. I have designed the PCB in KiCad, used their 3d export, converted it with FreeCad and used this as a starting point in Blender. Unfortunately, the grouping of the meshes is messed up and you need to create and apply materials and textures manually. From there I modelled and animated a few additional details and then used the Cycles renderer in Blender.
If you read as far as the middle of the first link in the article ([Sebastian]’s own writeup) he mentions Blender.
This is a great little device – kudos for what looks like a very nicely designed unit. I was wondering about the assembly animation too… looked very professional!
The keyboard is amazing, the animations are amazing, the video is detailed enough but not more than needed.
Wow, this is fantastic! I’ve been struggling for months to make my old Logitech G11 keyboard with macro keys work with Ubuntu. Also, being a Linux newb, the ‘Logitech G15’ projects seem to be way too outdated for me to understand how to make them work with 20.04, and this project seems like the perfect opportunity to get back my macro keys.
Thanks for making it open source!
Holy cow. I’m on the waiting list for the ESP touchdown but this looks like it might be an even better fit.
Absolutely brilliant and inspiring. Gave me an idea to pass on (too old to pursue) . A new kind of key board. Again…I know. This idea being a little more dynamic: Using spell check completing software with 10 or 12 keys of which each key or a central visual indicator could dynamically change key letters as you type (theoretically could use two key to type many words -a second key for word completion). However, I would foresee using as many as 5 to 12 keys. Easily could use just one hand. i.e. [Press a ‘t’ the software would change a key(s) letter to the next probable letter. (Would also prevent the CIA from coping your typing -by listening…they can time your finger movements from one key to another -provided your not a two fingered typist). :)
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)