Push-to-talk on Meet – Part 2

Let’s go physical!

A couple of weeks ago, I published a post about adding Push-to-talk to Meet. I love that solution and I’m using all the time… or I was.

The problem is that I cleaned my desk and I restored my home office setup due to the #coronavirus situation:

My home office setup

As you can see, now my laptop is on the left side of the desk and so is the webcam. When I look at the camera , my keyboard is on the right, very close to the trackpad.

Nine times out of ten, I mis-tap the spacebar or I touch the trackpad… and I have to turn… and I lose focus… and I forget the question I wanted to ask in the meeting πŸ˜‚πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

After the article I had a conversation with Daniele Bonaldo and Roberto Orgiu about the need for a physical button to turn on the microphone. We started throwing ideas around about Arduino, RaspberryPi, Usb buttons and bla bla bla and eventually the whole thing died after a few silly jokes.

However, the brain is a fascinating thing that keeps crunching data in background, even if you are not consciously thinking about a certain thing.

Eventually, it hit me:

The camera shutter!!!

Like a million years ago I bought a bluetooth camera shutter for my phone. The idea is that you place your phone on a tripod a few meters away, and you click a tiny button that transmits the proper keyboard event to take the picture. It looks like this:

BT phone camera shutter

I opened the Bluetooth settings screen and I searched for the shutter:

Once connected, it confirmed that deep down this little thing is simply a keyboard with two keys:

I love standards!

The problem is… Which keys?? A bit of Try & Error is always my initial approach: click click and the volume on my MBP goes up.

OK, the big button is Volume Up

Don’t ask me why πŸ˜‚ I have no idea. Anyway, I needed a way to map this key to spacebar.

This is a job for Karabiner!!

Karabiner-Elements is an incredible tool to remap keys on OSX. Once you install it, you can access a setup screen were you can map any key to any other key:

Once you selected the Target device, our shutter, you can choose from the menu on the left the current key: volume_increment and the new key spacebar, and we are done 🎊⏯

️Detecting what the second button is doing

My goal was achieved, but there was one last thing to conquer: the second button. Why? You know why, you nerd! πŸ˜‚

I could not figure out what code it was sending so I turned again to Karabiner. From its menu , I selected

I started clicking the second button and TADA`!

So now, if I need it, I can remap also the second button to whatever I want πŸ’ͺ🏻

Click… Hello, everybody πŸ˜ƒ

2 thoughts on “Push-to-talk on Meet – Part 2

  1. I guess the big key transmitting volume up is because on iPhones, you can take pictures by pressing the volume up key when in the camera app.
    Simple as.

  2. The big key being a trigger for volume up is because on an iPhone you can take pictures by pressing the volume up key when in the camera app.
    Simple as.

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