Gaming PC

This Mechanical Keyboard Puts OLED Displays on Every Key

A highly configurable OLED mechanical keyboard project is in the final stages.of Polykidfrom Modders thpollwhich has been in development for several years, PC gamer I recently noticed that the project page has been updated to say that the hardware side of development is almost finished and efforts will switch to firmware work. The PolyKybd kit is expected to sell for around $200 when it’s ready. As some of the best mechanical keyboards out there, that’s pretty amazing when everything you need to assemble is included. (opens in new tab) without it OLED already costs that much.

(Image credit: thpoll)

The PolyKybd is a split layout mechanical keyboard with an orthogonal key layout, but the big selling point is that the regular plastic keycaps have been replaced with transparent cash register keycaps with an internal OLED screen. Each screen is 0.42 inches diagonal and offers a resolution of 72×40 pixels.

In addition to the standard set of keys available for customization and switching (languages, character sets, layouts, etc.), each half of the keyboard has large OLED displays for status information and other messages. Some images also have a control wheel, but it seems the manufacturer intends to change that to a trackball.

Now that the hardware is almost complete, thpoll will start spending more time on the firmware. QMK open source firmware is mentioned, but this keyboard is so configurable that it will probably require a little more work than usual to get everything up and running smoothly. .

(Image credit: thpoll)

To control all those tiny screens, each half of the split keyboard needs a processor, and a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller is employed for the job. Controls an OLED configurable legend to monitor and report key presses. Thpoll has already started working to ensure that the system works with characters used in Japanese, Arabic, and other input methods.

(Image credit: thpoll)

As with the split-key design sample, thpoll says he intends to work on a TKL version and a separate numpad/macropad that uses these same highly configurable OLED-facing keys. There are other possibilities for extending the project. Once this first version is in the hands of enthusiasts and consumers, their feedback will help shape the roadmap for the future.

We’ve seen input devices with OLED keys before, but PolyKybd seems to shift some numbers at the right price and could possibly be the start of something big. Probably one of the best OLED keyboards out there was discontinued a few years ago and wasn’t all that popular because of the price. Meanwhile, Apple’s OLED Touch Bar failed to secure a place in the future of the Mac. However, macro pads with built-in displays seem to be popular, so it makes sense to add a small numeric keypad-style macro pad to the PolyKybd family.

The idea of ​​a fully customizable mechanical keyboard with OLED on the keycaps is certainly appealing. It’s going to be hard to get that on the cheap, but if a DIY kit can achieve that goal, something similar could be picked up and mass-produced by one of his larger keyboard companies.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button