Single-Button Keyboard Has Multiple Uses

Well now why would I want a single-button keyboard, you might be asking yourself. We say it all depends on how you build the thing, and how you program it. Would you believe that the MagiClick by [Modular] is capable of showing live weather information or the date and time, acting as animated dice, or being a stopwatch and Pomodoro timer? Now you’re beginning to understand.

Before we get much further, yes, this bad boy has two additional buttons on the sides. But the spirit of the thing is in the single large switch in the middle. It’s hiding beneath the 0.85″ 128×128 display, which is protected from pressure and fingerprints by that Pop-o-Matic bubble over the top. While the big button is the main operator used to access the function options, the side buttons are used as auxiliaries to exit and return to the home screen.

MagiClick is based on the ESP32-S3 and is designed to run on CircuitPython. In addition to everything else packed into this thing, there are blinkenlights and a small speaker inside, plus a GPIO expansion header around back. Everything is available on GitHub if you want to build your own.

Not enough keys for you? Well, here’s one with two.

13 thoughts on “Single-Button Keyboard Has Multiple Uses

  1. I immediately think of morse code when single-button-anything is featured. I used a Motorola V60s until last December when Verizon kicked it off the tower and I miss the ability to text by pushing buttons without having to look at the screen. Hmmmm maybe that’s a good way to brush up on my CW is to figure out how to plug in button to my smart phone via the usb port or even bluetooth for visual-less texting.

  2. optimisation and miniturisation hit the brick wall some
    time ago,unless of course you want elon in your brain
    and there will be no further need for inputs,and your choices will be anticipated and acted on strait to the motor cortex

  3. I hear your sarcasm, but brain- and other-nervous-system-to-computer interfaces for people with nerve injuries are a real thing in medicine.

    Do *I* want to “Elon my brain”? No. But if I had a nerve damage and that was the best way for me to walk again, then I’d say “Where do I sign up?”

  4. I am working on an electronic kitchen scale up to 5 kg as a pressure sensitive input device. A standard chocolate bar weighs 100 grams which is 1 Newton. 5 kg, so 5000 grams / 100 grams are 50 possible keys. Two kitchen scales are then 100 keys and 10, for 10 fingers 10*50 = 500 keys with only 10 kitchen scale sensors. I’m just kidding around but for people with disabilities a foot keyboard with 5 pressure sensors and 5 pressure levels each would be 5*5 = 25 keys. Maybe it would be ergonomic. Or a bite on tooth splint with pressure sensor for paralyzed people. What do you think?

    1. If this works please build one with a piezo to put between butt checks to cheat at chess turnaments.

      So like a two way keyboard with feedback with sound. Upss! My CD just skipped! :-D

    2. It would be unusual to use arithmetic progression for the 50 values; you’re wasting the step from 100 to 150, and difficult to judge the difference between 4900 and 5000. Geometric progression would make more sense, but 50 steps doubtful.

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