Raspberry Pi boards have long been used for retro gaming and home automation, but normally these are separate pursuits. The ANAVI Play pHAT, however, goes in a different direction — as a control pad that sits on top of any Pi with a 40-pin GPIO, and includes space for up to three I2C sensor modules. It’s available as a solder kit, fully assembled, or even with acrylic cases and sensors depending on the options selected.
The device is billed as an “IoT hub during the day and a retro gaming machine during the night.” It’s set up to work with Raspbian out of the box and can be used with RetroPie and Emulation Station. On the other hand, the button-based directional pad would also provide a great interface for interfacing with your IoT equipment, and if you are planning on using it for gaming, the I2C interface would allow for all kinds of alternative input options.
The device is designed as open source hardware, and available now on Crowd Supply. Incredibly, it’s already 15,900% funded, though the funding goal of just $1 may temper your amazement. Meeting stretch goals of $1000 and $2000 will mean stickers for all backers, and a keyboard tutorial respectively.