Browsing the Asian marketplaces online is always an experience. Sometimes, you see things at ridiculously low prices. Other times, you see things and wonder who is buying them and why — a shrimp pillow? But sometimes, you see something that probably could have a more useful purpose than the proposed use case.
That’s the case with the glut of “smart displays” you can find at very low prices.
Like a lot of this cheap stuff, these screens are sold under a variety of names, and apparently, there are some subtle differences. Two of the main makers of these screens are Turing and XuanFang, although you rarely see those names in the online listings. As you might expect, though, someone has reverse-engineered the protocol, and there is Python software that will replace the stock Windows software [github.com] the devices use.
We are still tempted to reflash the CH552 [hackaday.com] to convert it to use a normal serial port. If you decide to give it a go, you’ll need to figure out programming [hackaday.com].