What do FW16 "LED matrix" spacers do, or look like?

That’s an $80 space filler… would be nice to know what you’d be paying for…

Also, as there’s a few rather interesting spacers on offer, will we be seeing keyboard frames or touchpad panels to match them at some stage? If you’re gonna pay for a look like that, you probably want all of it.

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It’s a grid of LEDs. Personally, I think it’s mostly for “gamers” who feel a need for bling. Though, iirc Framework has said you may be able to program it to display useful info like battery level.
You can see it in this Linus video (timelink to 3m48s)


If you want to see more of the spacers you can also check out the video that was posted by The Verge where they show off the Framework 16 (and the fancy color changing spacers) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xq8rOlwW5Y


Does anyone know if there will be some kind of Framework utility (maybe included in the driver package) for tinkering with the LED matrix modules, or will it purely be a DIY affair if you get them?

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Looks like yes, there is a Windows app and a Linux app that Framework is working on for the LED matrix in their github. Also, an API and a python script.

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Yes, we have some utility-like tools for Windows and Linux along with APIs. For a more polished consumer application, that is on our roadmap, but not something we currently have a timeline for.


Thanks @nrp

Between your reply and the details on the product page, it sounds like there are no LED matrix features or behaviors that will be working Out of the Box without additional customer effort, at least initially.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Can you elaborate on the “utility-like tools” and what features the LED Matrix will be able to do OOTB at launch, at least for Windows?

For instance: Timer? Battery Life?

What in particular on the product page makes you think that?

This is what I see on the LED matrix product details popup

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My interpretation of the text in your image is that those are possibilities/concepts rather than behaviors FW is building (themselves) into the firmware, particularly so OOTB at launch.

Reading between the lines: here is the emphasis I’m drawing out.
“can be customized”
“open source firmware”
“make it easy for you to personalize and create”
“your own features”

If Framework will support (or has plans to) some of these natively (I asked about timer and battery life as they seem like some of the simpler concepts), it would be great to hear about it, though it is entirely possible Framework is holding these back for the “keyboard” deep dive blog.

I would read it differently. All those items you list are in the later half, as an add-on.

The LED Matrix Input Module can be endlessly customized - track your battery life levels, set a timer, have a flashing notification alert, scroll text or even play a game of snake.

I would read the above as things you could reasonably expect it to do without special skills, either all of those items at launch or a subset at launch and the rest shortly after.

The open source firmware and interface APIs make it easy for you to personalize and create your own features.

This I read as added things you can get into if it interests you.

I do have reason to believe this, but I feel like I should give some time for Framework staff to respond if they wish to. You can ping me @MJ1 if they don’t in a few days to remind me.

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See this repo: https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/inputmodule-rs/blob/main/ledmatrix/README.md


I aim to turn my LED spacers into a system status monitor. I see Rust code in that repo, which is great because that’s my favourite language to work in.