We feature many macropads on Hackster because they’re relatively easy projects for makers to tackle and they are quite practical. Sure, you can use key combination shortcuts on the key board you already have, but a dedicated macropad provides a more convenient experience and often additional functionality. Most of the macropads we see connect to a computer through a USB connection, but DeepDeck is a unique new DIY macropad that utilizes an ESP32 to add Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
At first glance, DeepDeck looks like an attractive but conventional macro pad. It has 16 individual RGB-backlit keys that users can assign to any function. But the more you look, the more you see that sets DeepDeck apart from the competition. A pair of rotary encoders provides an additional means of control. Users could use those rotary encoders to adjust volume, zoom in Photoshop, scroll through code, and much more. Those rotary encoders also have RGB backlighting for feedback. Then there is the 64 x 128 OLED screen that displays an onscreen menu for configuration or even tasks like time-tracking.
However, it is the use of the Espressif ESP32 microcontroller that makes DeepDeck really stand out. The ESP32 has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios, and DeepDeck takes advantage of both. Users can connect DeepDeck to Windows or macOS computers, Android smartphone and tablets, and iPhones and iPads through the Bluetooth connection. Power comes from a LiPo battery pack. The Wi-Fi connection allows for some very interesting uses. If a user has some programming chops, they can utilize a variety of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to connect their DeepDeck to online services. For example, one could use their DeepDeck to post Tweets without connecting to a computer or smartphone. Or they could control Spotify playback — again, without the need for a computer.
When DeepDeck launches on CrowdSupply, it will be available as either a DIY kit or a complete device. The DIY version comes pre-soldered, but doesn’t include key switches or caps. That’s the option to choose if you want to select your own switches and caps. Key switches are hot-swappable, so you can change them out whenever you want. If you’re interested in DeepDeck, be sure to subscribe to updates on the Crowd Supply page.