A handyman uses tiny screens to bring Lego terminals and human keyboards to life
We’ve seen a bunch of cool DIY terminals lately. From this Pi-powered Palmtop (opens in a new tab) to this retro circular screen machine (opens in a new tab). All of these models are very cute, but this next DIY project resulted in one of the adorable little terminals I’ve come across.
Tech Handyman James Brown (opens in a new tab) shared one of his recent experiments on Twitter which shows a small control screen working on a tiny piece of Lego. The screen is designed to mimic the Lego terminal parts which slope down and have designs painted on it.
In this case, the screen is actually behind a transparent blue piece for now. Brown uses these Tiny and affordable controllable OLEDs (opens in a new tab) to make it imitate the various old Lego control parts. One example has block text scrolling and flashing lights, and another shows a moving circular radar.
It would be especially interesting to see some of them with bespoke Lego part designs. They already look very cool and present a great amount of opportunity for future Lego screen mods. In fact, these little screens have plenty of other apps, and Brown is already playing with some of them.
Very happy about it. pic.twitter.com/1FofmKbqJPJune 7, 2022
Another Twitter thread features a keyboard he is working on that has a screen behind each key. It sounds like an expensive undertaking, but thanks to the affordability of these screens, it might not be so bad. In most examples, Brown has them display letters, and in one case, they visibly change two and all caps when Caps Lock is pressed.
In theory, this could be an easy way to change the visible keyboard layout or set image buttons for games and macros. They could potentially be paired with neat handcrafted keycaps (opens in a new tab) for even more visual effect. Or just lots of screens, kinda like an entire keyboard made from a DIY Stream Deck (opens in a new tab)which seems pretty darn useful.
Added a key. Should probably add a little more. pic.twitter.com/H2aGfEN6F8April 25, 2022
This could lead to a seriously higher RGB level, especially if all the keys are tangent programmable. Hopefully they can take the punishment of constantly having fingers slap them on a board if players need it. Still, these look like wonderfully fun DIY projects with tons of potential. Or maybe we’ll just see cuter Lego consoles like this PSP (opens in a new tab). I think we’ll see these tiny OLEDs pop up in a few more projects around the square.