Turing Smart Screen – A low-cost 3.5-inch USB Type-C information display

“Turing Smart Screen” is a low-cost 3.5-inch USB-C display that connects to systems with a USB port, and works with Windows, Linux (including Raspberry Pi), MacOS, and other operating systems that support Python3.

But contrary to my initial assumptions, it does not exactly act as a second monitor, and instead, it is an information display, originally designed to show resource utilization, eg CPU and memory usage, in Windows, and controlled through commands sent to the USB port.

Turing Smart Screen specifications:

  • 3.5-inch IPS display with 480×320 resolution, portrait and landscape support
  • MCU – WCH CH552T 8-bit E8051 core MCU for USB devices
  • Host interface – USB Type-C interface
  • Auto start on power on
  • Dimensions
    • Product: 85 x 55 x 8 mm
    • Display area: 74 x 49 mm

The manufacturer says it works with Windows only using its own software, and not AIDA64. The Windows software features functions to change the theme, adjust brightness, display weather forecast, and so on.

CH552T USB-C device displayIt’s only after trying to findout which USB display solution it used that I discovered the CH522T MCU and the name “Turing Smart Screen”. If it’s just receiving commands over USB, it should be easy enough to reverse-engineer with a USB sniffer, and Matthieu Houdebine has already taken care of that with the “Turing Smart Screen Python” project hosted on Github. The Python 3.x implementation means it works in Windows, Linux, macOS, and other operating systems that support Python 3.x.

The display is shown as a serial device in the host system, and the open-source software can display a custom picture, text, and a progress bar, as well as clear or turn off the screen, reset the display, and set brightness, but screen rotation is not implemented yet.

The display ships with a one-meter USB Type-C cable, a stand, and double-sided tape, plus other accessories like a USB hub, depending on the selection option. I initially found it on Banggood for $35.99but it is also sold on Aliexpress, Amazonand other shops.

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