Optimus Maximus Keyboard Teaser Shot

optimax-live.jpg

One of the people at Art Lebedev, makers of the upcoming “Optimus Maximus” keyboard with embedded OLED screens in each key, has posted this teaser shot of a full-sized version in action. It almost looks like the keys are flipped to random colors instead of having useful images on both, but it’s still nifty in a sort of Logan’s Run sort of way.

I won’t be dropping $1,500 for a keyboard anytime soon, but it’s easy to imagine keyboards five or ten years out that use ePaper on the keycaps to switch the labels without having drawing so much power (or putting tons of light in your face).

First Optimus Maximus Arrives at Moscow [Livejournal.com/Optimus Project]

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7 Responses to Optimus Maximus Keyboard Teaser Shot

  1. dimmer says:

    Hey, looks like a long lost child of the softtouch keypad on my Apricot PC. The upper right panel of keys had a programmable LCD above that could be used to display custom names for whatever application.

    http://www.stateoftheark.co.nz/images/act_apricot_pc.jpg

  2. TheCynic says:

    This will be the ultimate gaming keyboard technology. Imagine if every key can display an icon or (if the resolution is good enough) a blurb of text to tell you what it does. “What button throws the grenade? Oh, maybe the one with the picture of a grenade on it.”

    Or you could have situational keys that are either lit or not lit depending on if you can use them. The keyboard would be a much more integrated part of the game (or any application) if the “Communications” button could actually flash on your keyboard when there was an incoming message to read.

    I could also see a simple game of index-finger whack-a-mole with keys lighting up… :-p

    So many possibilities come to mind.

  3. Rich Shupe says:

    I wonder about the kinds of keyboard use that will benefit from this. I realize edit suites (video, audio) have had keyboards with colored keys for a while, and I recall Quark and other apps shipping with keyboard overlays (at least for function keys), so there must be a market. For users like me, however, who almost never look at their keys, this seems quite extravegant.

  4. 54N71460 says:

    I’ve seen the future, and it0s going to be really expensive

  5. Halloween Jack says:

    It’s a nice visual for those of us who thought that computers of the future would have keyboards like the bridge controls in the original Star Trek. Now all we need is a decent natural spoken word interface…

  6. Tubman says:

    @#5: At that price it’s irrelevant for most users, but there’s definitely a market for something like this even at $1500. I know several translators, for example, who would happily pay up.

    For mainstream users, more useful (and probably cheaper) variants could be based around having function keys work like this, or better yet, a touchscreen strip above the keys where you could place toolbars and some of the other crap that clutters up your monitor display.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “This will be the ultimate gaming keyboard technology. Imagine if every key can display an icon or (if the resolution is good enough) a blurb of text to tell you what it does. “What button throws the grenade? Oh, maybe the one with the picture of a grenade on it.””

    According to the original design specs, it CAN do that. And not just for games. Think photoshop hotkeys, change your keys to russian, etc

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