IKEA BEKANT touchscreen upgrade: Up, down and height memory

This is my IKEA desk hack of the BEKANT sit-stand Desk, adding a touchscreen control panel and a height memory feature.

The original controls for the sit/stand desk were extremely basic, with just two buttons — up and down. With these 2 buttons, you can adjust the height of the table top electrically from 65 to 125 cm to ensure an ergonomic working position.

I like changing positions between sitting and standing, which helps me move my body and lessen the stiffness from sitting too long. Working standing up also makes me more alert.

However, what I found lacking in the BEKANT sit-stand desk was a height memory. I had to adjust the desk height manually each time I wanted a different position. I figured an upgrade from the basic Up and Down buttons was necessary.

IKEA item used:

  • BEKANT sit/stand desk
ikea bekant sit stand desk
Photo: IKEA.com

These were the original controls for the sit/stand desk with the two “Up” and “Down” buttons. But kudos to IKEA for managing to keep it so minimal.

up and down controls

I wanted to attempt to control the movement of the IKEA Bekant Desk sit/stand height with M5Stack Core2 using two Relay units and a ToF (time-of-flight sensor VL53L0x) unit.

ikea bekant touchscreen controls

It worked really well.

I now control the up and down movements with a touchscreen interface that can store up to 6 height values. Very useful if you have different users for the desk.

Related: Making an IKEA sit-stand desk that remembers

I did a later version with M5Paper, which is thinner on my desk compared to M5Stack Core2.

The full instructions for the IKEA BEKANT touchscreen control hack are here. And the Paper E-ink Display version is here.

Why did you decide to hack the IKEA BEKANT touchscreen?

Because there is no such thing on the market. And for fun! Many sit/stand desks in the market have up to 4 memory buttons, though probably not an LCD touch screen. The IKEA BEKANT control has neither, just Up and Down.

How long and how much did it cost?

4 hours and about $500 (IKEA desk is 90% of the cost)

What do you like most about the hack?

The cat on top of it (joking) 😉 Also, be able to stand while teleworking (but without Corona Beer.)

What was the hardest part about this hack?

Open the ABS box, extract the circuit, and connect the three lanes to test probe hooks. But no soldering was required.

What to pay special attention to?

Details of the user interface and functionality. Not kill the lanes of the two buttons backplane.

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

Start directly with M5paper as the M5Stack Core2 is too small and thick.

~ by Baco