Aspiring polyglots can be stymied by differing keyboard layouts and character sets when switching between languages. [Thomas Pollak]’s Poly Keyboard circumvents this problem by putting a screen in every key of the keyboard.
In his extensive build logs, [Pollak] details the different challenges he’s faced while bringing this amazing keyboard to life. For example, the OLED screens need glyph rendering to handle the legends on the keys. Since the goal is true universal language support, he used the Adafruit-GFX Library as a beginning and was able to extend support to Japanese, Korean, and Arabic so far in his custom fork of QMK.
The attention to detail on this build is really impressive. Beside the dedication to full glyph support, [Pollak] has measured the amount of extra force the flex cables from the OLEDs add to the actuation of the keyswitches. For the Gateron yellow switch he tested, the difference was about 62.2 g versus the initial 49.7 g.
In case you’re thinking you’ve seen other screen keyboard projects, [Pollak] includes a roundup of similar projects in his logs as well. This isn’t the first keyboard we’ve seen here at Hackaday with an OLED on top of a keyswitch, although [Voidstar Lab]’s MiRage only has three screen keys that were removed in a later iteration. If you’d like a more conventional fixed display in your keyboard, check out [Peng Zhihui]’s modular board with an e-ink display and haptic feedback knob.
— thpoll (@thpoll2) October 4, 2022