This is the first year that I’ve taken the time to sit down and write a year review. As I reflect on the past 12 months, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you all for the incredible support and love you have shown me, constantly inspiring me with your ideas and passion for custom built ergonomic keyboards. You guys have been incredible!
I may not be very active on Reddit, but I want to express my sincere gratitude for all the kind support and assure you that I read and appreciate every comment.
Expanding our Support for Open Source Projects (From 2 to 23)
One of the highlights of our journey in 2023 was expanding our support for open source projects. We truly believe in giving back and fostering collaboration within the community. These maintainers pour their heart and soul into ensuring the success of their projects, and we wanted to show them just how much we appreciate and support their dedication.
Last year, we kicked things off by sponsoring two talented ergonomic keyboard designers, diepala (creator of Cantor) and duckyb (creator of Urchin and ETERNAL Keypad). In 2023, we expanded our sponsorship to even more creators / maintainers. I believe we are sponsoring 23 maintainers as of today. While the financial support we provide may not be a substantial amount for each maintainer, we hope it serves as a token of gratitude to let them know that their work is recognized and highly appreciated.
A new series of keyboards for GLP (Gateron Low Profile)
The Kailh Choc v1 stands out as one of the most popular low profile key switches. Some time ago, Gateron introduced their own line of low profile key switches (KS-27 and KS-33) with dedicated hotswap sockets. They can be found in Keychron and Nuphy low profile keyboards. I decided to give them a try and was pleasantly surprised. They are incredibly good. The switches are lubricated and feel consistent when typing. The key switch cross stem design is the same as MX switches, despite being low profile. Because of this, the Gateron KS-33 switches provide a wider range of keycap options compared to Choc v1.
Being impressed by the Gateron low profile key switches, I wanted to create a split keyboard that could accommodate these switches. As time went on, this led to the creation of the Corne GLP, a variant of the Corne Keyboard that incorporates Gateron Low Profile hotswap sockets and key switches, and the Allium58 GLP, a wireless build featuring a Lily58 Pro layout with compatibility for GLP. Both of them are open source hardware projects and are available on GitHub.
Some Modified Keebs
Most of these projects initially originated as custom builds tailored to specific customer requests. One such example is the 3W6HS, which is a modified version of the 3W6 keyboard with Choc hotswap sockets, ESD protection, and utilizing an RP2040 controller with 16MB flash memory.
Another keyboard, FelixKeeb, is an open source modification of the Helix keyboard, designed for wireless functionality and featuring native support for the nice!view display.
Some Wireless Split Keyboards
The development of wireless split keyboards is getting more mature with ZMK firmware. There are now more options available for Bluetooth controllers, such as the nice!nano v2 and XIAO BLE. Moreover, there are power-saving displays, nice!view, specifically designed for wireless usage. We have begun offering pre-built wireless keyboards such as the Chocofi, Corne Choc (MX and GLP variants are also available), TOTEM, and DAO BLE. All of them feature power switches and JST battery connectors.
The Piantor Mod and Piantor Pro
photos from reddit
We are absolutely delighted to witness the incredible variety of modifications and enhancements made to the Piantor keyboard and its case. The sheer abundance of creativity and innovative spirit displayed by the community is truly inspiring.
We received lots of valuable feedback from our customers. We subsequently introduced the Piantor Pro, incorporating several enhancements on the PCB and case based on the suggestions. As a result, the Piantor Pro is now more durable than ever before and offers even greater ergonomic benefits.
Honestly, we are not sure what 2024 will look like. We’ve got a bunch of ideas brewing, and we’re doing our best to prioritize the projects. Hopefully, we’ll be able to work more closely with keyboard designers and be able to bring you some really exciting stuff in the coming year. Fingers crossed for an awesome 2024!
Let’s have a chat
Obviously, I am more of an introvert. beekeeb doesn’t have a discord (at least not yet). But hey, if you have anything on your mind, whether it’s a random idea, a sponsorship request, or just some questions about your build, feel free to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m all ears and ready to help!