Once upon a time, maker projects were limited to using simple character displays or those salvaged from popular Nokias, largely due to cost. These days, a small OLED or LCD is available for just a few bucks. However, you can go fancier, and [Mr. Volt] does just that with an exploration of nice round displays.
Using round displays doesn’t have to be hard, with plenty of great products on the market. [Mr. Volt] goes through various options, from the cheap bare screens you can hook up to a microcontroller, to larger models designed for direct use with the Raspberry Pi or even straight HDMI inputs. Many are quite high resolution, and look particularly beautiful when driven with appropriate artwork.
However, there are a few tricks that come in handy when you’re going away from traditional rectangular screens. Screen mounts on some models may not be directly aligned with the center of the circular display, which can lead to results that look off if not accounted for.
It’s also important to remember that round displays are still driven like square displays, using Cartesian coordinates. Trying to use software with interface elements around the edges can be trying, as many end up rendered off-screen. Instead, circular displays are best used to display purpose-made content, rather than used with traditional software expecting a rectangular screen.
Fundamentally, round displays are a neat thing to have, as they allow for the construction of elegant projects that don’t have to abstract a circle with cheats like obscuring bezels or housings. Video after the break.