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Electronics news

Gboard CAPS Keyboard - Gboard CAPS Cap

The Gboard CAPS single-key cap - keyboard, shaped like a giant cap, interacts with mobile devices.

A keyboard is the ultimate input device. However, carrying around a keyboard to work with a smartphone defeats the very purpose of creating a portable device. Touchscreens with keyboards have filled this gap nicely, but their miniaturized size leaves much to be desired.

Wearable input devices hold tremendous promise. If an input device could be integrated into clothing or worn as a piece of jewelry, for example, it would enable efficient interaction with electronics.

To use Gboard CAPS, the user turns the cap on his or her head to the left or right. An inertial measurement unit mounted on the M5StickC Plus ESP32 ESP32 board senses these turns and cycles through the keyboard key options. When the desired option is selected, the hat is pressed to type that key. When it does so, a corresponding click sounds.
For some unknown reason, Google seems to have dropped the Gboard CAPS hat, making it clear that you can't buy it from them. Nevertheless, the design is posted in the public domain. Assembly instructions, files for 3D printing the parts, and Arduino code are available for download in the GitHub repository (the project's virtual repository).

If using an overhead keyboard with an awkward one-button interface doesn't sound like an enjoyable pastime to you, there's hope for next year. After all, the Japanese company Google releases unusual and creative keyboards every year on October 1.