Odd Inputs And Peculiar Peripherals: Touch This Macro Pad

The need to provide custom controls for complex software packages has been satisfied in many ways, the most usual of which is to have a configurable keypad. It’s a challenge [Meir Michanie] has taken up in a slightly different way, by creating a custom touch-screen macro pad. Unlike the buttons, this allows entirely custom layouts with different shaped keys in any configuration.

At its heart is a versatile ESP32 touch screen development board of the type that can be found easily among the pages of your favorite online electronics mart. The Arduino IDE has been used to program the device, and configuration is as simple of providing it with a PNG of the desired layout, and a CSV file to define the buttons. The whole then connects via BLE where it’s presented to the host computer as a keyboard. The result is one of the coolest macro pads we’ve ever seen, with a limitless number of options.

With such a neat idea it’s perhaps no surprise among the numbers of macro pads that have made it to these pages there might be another take on the same idea.

5 thoughts on “Odd Inputs And Peculiar Peripherals: Touch This Macro Pad

  1. Big fat nope from me.

    Touch screens are the worst thing to be forced into a control scheme since… Touch-less input?

    Any input that you might need to use without giving it your full attention should be fully tactile.

    Yeah. I’m looking at you touchscreen infotainment system…

    1. While I generally agree with you, if you limit your touchscreen to a regular array of icons, you can place physical dividers on the screen so that you can “feel” the proper “button” without having to look at it.

      That’s what the Loupedeck CT does.

      Of course, that doesn’t provide feedback, but it should be no problem at all to make a noise when a key is triggered. (Perhaps this design already does such a thing.)

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