Saimon’s I2C NavKey is a turnkey solution for projects that require more than just a few switches and buttons. The small 42.5 x 42.5mm board features a seven-function joypad with four directional keys, a central button, and a rotary ring (or wheel) similar to what the old iPods had on its face. What’s more, there’s no need for complicated wiring, as all of the NavKey’s functions can be addressed over I2C; in fact, it’s possible to configure up to 16 different I2C addresses if needed.
The I2C NavKey is equipped with more than just a multi-function joypad, as the board packs a Microchip PIC16F18345 microcontroller, 3X GPIOs with the same footprint as an RGB LED, and can be independently configured in several ways — input, output, PWN, and analog input.
“Since the I2CNavKey is an I2C slave, it has a series of 8-bit registers where it’s possible to configure different parameters, it’s also possible to detect when the buttons are pressed or when the ring is rotated.”
Saimon is currently selling the I2C NavKey on Tindie for $18 (now out of stock), and has released the board as open-source hardware on his GitHub page, which includes all the schematics and files needed to create your own. It also grants you access to a 30-page manual that contains everything you need to know about the board and how you can integrate the I2C NavKey into your projects.