As portable as keyboards have gotten, you still need some place to put the thing — some kind of bag for travel, and a flat surface for using it. Well, it doesn’t get much more portable than a hat keyboard, now does it?
Every October 1st, Google Japan likes to celebrate the 101-key keyboard by building something revolutionary off the top of their heads. (10/1… 101… get it?) This year was no exception — they created the GCAPS, a ballcap-like device with a single switch inside.
In order to use it, you spin the hat left and right until the desired character is reached, and the rotation is detected by a gyroscope. Then you press down on the top of the hat to send the key codes via Bluetooth.
Under the hood, the hat uses an M5Stick C Plus and, to our dismay, a micro switch that wasn’t even made by Cherry. Oh well — we landed on the clicky side, so that’s great in our book. Surprisingly, there exists a skull cap/hat skeleton thing on which to build a platform for pressing down on the switch. Just like the teaboard and the long boi keyboards, this thing is completely open source.
Since it types in Japanese, there’s no word on whether it types in all caps, though we like to think that it would given the object it represents. Be sure to check out the product reveal video after the break.
Continue reading “Hats Off To Another Weird Keyboard From Google Japan”
Have you ever felt the options for Morse code communication were too limited? Well, look no further than [marsPRE]’s open source WristMorse communicator that can connect over WiFi, can act as a Bluetooth keyboard or just be used as a Morse Code trainer.
[marsPRE] uses the M5StickC Plus as the base device and attaches a custom “hat” consisting of a 2.5 mm plug for a radio connection and two capacitive touch paddles that act as the Morse Code keyer. The add-on is housed in what looks like a custom 3D print and hangs off of the end of the M5StickC Plus, connecting the hat through an eight 0.1 inch pin header.
Using the M5StickC Plus allows [marsPRE] to focus on the software, providing different options for training, communication and even using the device as a Bluetooth keyboard. The two touch sensors allow for a semi automatic keying, with the top sensor used for long dashes and the bottom sensor used for short dashes.
[marsPRE] took inspiration from the Morserino-32 and has made the wrist morse code trainer open source software and available through GitHub for anyone wanting to take a look. Morse code may an old encoding method but it’s one that’s worthy of respect. You never know when you might need to send a message from your dreams or to translate spoken word Morse code.
Continue reading “M5StickC Turned Wearable Morse Code Trainer”
Whether you’re shooting video or photos, having a camera remote can really improve your productivity. No longer do you have to run back to the camera to press its tiny buttons! [Frank Zhao] is a Sony user, so decided to whip up a custom remote using the ESP32 for his Alpha camera, adding special features along the way.
The build communicates with the camera over WiFi, but can fall back to Infrared if there’s an issue with the radio link. It’s built around the M5StickC, which is a pre-built device featuring an ESP32 and a small display in a handheld form factor. It let him build the remote in half the size of the official Sony device. With limited buttons on board, though, he relies on the IMU to control many advanced features with motion gestures.
The remote enables a bunch of functionality that Sony didn’t bake into its cameras from the factory. There’s a sound-activated shutter release, dual shutter mode, and several timer-based tools including astrophotography modes. There’s also a big knob you can add for focus pulls, and a mode to reset the auto-focus when you’re frustrated that it isn’t working properly. Some of the features work better than others, as sometimes, the camera doesn’t respond to commands quickly enough. Regardless, it’s pretty neat that [Frank] has unlocked so much extra functionality with his custom $20 remote.
We’ve seen other homebrewed tools open up new creative possibilities for cameras before, too. If you’ve got your own nifty camera hacks, let us know on the tipsline!
We don’t have many details from [dariocose] about his K-Ability Dev Kit yet, but there are enough clues on his HackadayPrize2020 entry that we can tease out the critical points. The plan is to supply a control module with Bluetooth HID capability to act as a mouse and keyboard. It will plug into a socket on user-specific boards. Each style will be suited to a patient with a neuromuscular disease and will allow them to interact with computers in a way that suits their needs. For example, if someone lacks fine motor control, they may need large buttons, while someone with weak muscles may need pads close to one another. From the video’s looks below, the prototype boards aren’t anything fancier than cardboard and wire. Developing the best device doesn’t mean a dozen iterative prints or wasted laser-cut acrylic sheets.
Example code supports three mouse movements, left, right, and down, but there are plans to develop a tool to reprogram them. Given the name and prominent LCD, we suspect there will be keyboard support in the future. Processing and Bluetooth rest on the capable shoulders of an ESP32, which also supports touch sensing, so customized pads can respond to a wispy graze or a blunt fist.
We’re not short on customized keyboards that range from glorious elements of comfort to befuddling tools of typing.
Continue reading “Accessibility Keyboard Is Modular And Practical”