Wireless microphone 'mute' button

Hi All, I recently thought of a new ‘nice to have’ feature in our home, and am looking for ideas on how I might implement it. In these times living with Covid, many physical activities have moved into virtual environments, and one of these has been my 6 year old daughters’ dancing lessons. These are carried out over Zoom, which I have running on a windows PC connected to the TV with a webcam/mic combo. Typically, this requires me to monitor the lesson and hit the unmute button on Zoom whenever she wants to speak, given the amount of background noise we have due to the other kids.

So, I would like to buy/modify/make a (large) physical microphone ‘mute / unmute’ button, that my daughter can use on her own. Ideally it needs to be:

  1. Wireless, so that it can be placed where ever is convenient and there are no cables running between it and anywhere else
  2. Flexible on the software side, so that it can also be used with other video chat clients
  3. Integrates with OpenHAB so that I can access it / include it in sitemaps etc.

Without having done much research yet, my initial thoughts would be to use a battery powered button switch (such as an emergency call button for the elderly), that communicates with OpenHAB, which then communicates with the window’s PC via IOTLink (mqtt, already installed / implemented).
However, I don’t know how / if I can then access the microphone to mute it.

For info, my OpenHAB runs on a raspberry pi 3 and has a MySensors radio gateway, but no Z-wave or Zigbee network, though I am not opposed to installing a Z-wave or Zigbee USB stick on it. I do have hardware experience so could build something from scratch, though for the WAF would prefer to hack/modify/flash existing aesthetically pleasing hardware :slight_smile:

I realise this is not purely OpenHAB related, but would appreciate any ideas how I could implement this or tips for further research. Thanks in advance!

I would look into a solution to just send a key press combo from a simple device (like an Arduino).

For Zoom Alt+A is the key combo you need to press for un/mute, I think.

This might be a good starting point:

Another, more dirty, way would be to hack an old keyboard.
I do not know how this works exactly.
But I think you could just solder a button to the Alt and A keys. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

If you’ve got an old wireless mouse, install AutoHotKey on your Windows PC and then bind one of the mouse buttons to the mute/unmute command, as Christopher suggests. You could even make it that simply moving the mouse will mute/unmute, though that would require some testing/tuning and probably isn’t worth the hassle. Just sounds like fun.

Alternatively, Logitech Options will let you remap buttons on a per-app basis. If you don’t have a compatible mouse, you could get something inexpensive like a Logitech Pebble and then have it automatically map the right button to mute/unmute when Zoom is the active app. I use that feature on my MX Ergo trackball with Zoom/Teams, and it’s really handy.

So basically, AutoHotKey if you want some DIY satisfaction, and Logitech Options if you just want to get it done. :wink:

Note that you can still build a mute/unmute into openHAB. It’ll just be a virtual switch that sends your IOTLink command.

Thanks both for the great ideas! Further appraoches I hadn’t considered, appreciate it.