A bit of History
It’s now been a bit more than two years since we entered the HaD contest with Keymu: an open-source keychain-sized multi-emulator handheld console which received quite an unexpected success.
Keymu did not pretend to be more than a prototype destined to be built by anyone willing to get their hands dirty. And even though it was often asked to be produced and sold, the world of difference between prototyping and producing kind of humbled us into taking it slowly.
We first needed to focus on correcting electrical and software issues Keymu had, that is why we started working on a new prototype without a foldable design but with almost everything new under the hood. The prototype turned out pretty great, so much so that we decided to give it a name and enter once again the HaD prize: this was last year’s FunKey Zero.
A lot has happened in a year, among which the expansion of our team of enthusiasts to the grand number of three, now bringing together the much-needed professional mechanical hindsight to our electrical+software knowledge.
Keymu and its optimized design can now be born again, merging with all FunKey Zero’s improvements, thought for production and readier than ever to bring fun on your Keychain, meet the FunKey Project.
Processor & RAM
ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz. Extensions: NEON, VFPv4.
64MB of RAM DDR2 up to 400MHz
SD card 16GB
LCD IPS screen, 1.52”, 240x240 px
10 mm mono speaker, 500mW
420mAh Li-ion battery for hours of gameplay
Recharging and loading games
via Micro USB port
FunKey’s most discernable new features is the return of the foldable design but it's only the tip of the iceberg. Everything is new here, and of course the details will be presented more thoroughly in future logs but, to get a sense, here are the main new features:
- The casing
Completly rethought, it is now a slimmer package than Keymu and way smaller one than Funkey Zero: only 42.5x44.5x13.8 mm when closed.
It is also now sturdier thanks to a combination of snap/fit parts and two small screws on the back.
- The active hinge
The flexible cable between the screen and the mother board now passes through the hinge without enduring any stress. The cable is actually already enrolled inside the hinge so that closing and opening the console will not fold the cable in two (like it was the case with Keymu) but keep enrolling and unrolling it instead.
Also now, like with foldable phones, there is a satisfying snap when closing the console, and the spring in the hinge ensures that it stays firmly closed.
- The buttons
The biggest improvement was done to the L/R buttons which were very tiny and unclickable on Keymu. They now are basically the whole bottom left and right side of the console:
The playing buttons are also now bigger and even more comfortable since we added more space between the game buttons and the directional pad so that both thumbs cannot interfere with each other.
- Other improvements
On/off/menu button that can only be accessed when the console is open, notification LED for charging and low battery info, better cord attachment for the keychain, nice FunKey logo on the back (that we’re still trying to get illuminated thans to the screen's backlight).
For those who followed the first Keymu project, you’ll know it was based on a daughter board designed to function around the now extinct Intel Edison module (may it rest in peace). The next iteration: Funkey Zero, was a way for us to prototype with new processors....Read more »