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View Full Version : Art Lebedev announces the Optimus Maximus OLED keyboard


4np
Mar 15, 2007, 02:35 PM
Finally, the long announced OLED keyboard has arrived and will be released at the end of 2007.

But, at a price of $ 1490,-, what would you rather buy? A new Mac or a new fancy keyboard? ;)

There will also be a starter model with non (or a few?) OLED-keys for which you can buy seperate OLED keys to upgrade your board.

http://www.artlebedev.ru/blog/optmax1.jpg

http://www.artlebedev.ru/blog/optmax4.jpg
source: http://community.livejournal.com/optimus_project/

Scarlet Fever
Mar 15, 2007, 02:51 PM
rad. I want one. But for just a bit less :p

runplaysleeprun
Mar 15, 2007, 04:03 PM
Why?! I was very intrigued when I first saw the concept designs for this a year or so ago, but for that much money? I think i'll pass for now.

Allotriophagy
Mar 15, 2007, 04:21 PM
Probably Windows only?

I remember the mini version that came out a while ago, with three buttons. The software wasn't very good and the keypad itself made an electrical humming noice.

Still, once the price comes (way way way) down and if it is silent and works with OS X, I would definitely be interested. Even more so if it is actually nice to use.

ribbonthecat
Mar 15, 2007, 04:27 PM
Who cares? I'll stick to my Das Keyboard.

Allotriophagy
Mar 15, 2007, 04:31 PM
I just had a look and there is OS X support for the mini board. Quite interesting.

The problem with this sort of thing being used with OS X is that it mainly just replicates the function of the Dock (language layouts aside). But having a few OLEDs on a normal keyboard would be a cute feature.

Perhaps Apple will use them at some point, to tie in with Mail or iCal or something?

psychofreak
Mar 15, 2007, 04:40 PM
I just had a look and there is OS X support for the mini board. Quite interesting.

The problem with this sort of thing being used with OS X is that it mainly just replicates the function of the Dock (language layouts aside). But having a few OLEDs on a normal keyboard would be a cute feature.

Perhaps Apple will use them at some point, to tie in with Mail or iCal or something?

It is user customisable, so in Photoshop for example, it could be made (probably comes with presets as well) to look like the second image, and in a game, the first image...

Allotriophagy
Mar 15, 2007, 04:55 PM
It is user customisable, so in Photoshop for example, it could be made (probably comes with presets as well) to look like the second image, and in a game, the first image...

That's true, which would be kinda handy. Plus there is space on the 2x2 keys to show the alphabet too.

Though it's more aesthetic than practical surely? I don't play WoW and suddenly scream "WHERE IS THE JUMP BUTTON? ARRRRRGH! If only I had a 750 keyboard with cute keys!".

But back to having a few of these on a normal keyboard...would be nice for assigning RSS feeds to. It updates, the key shows the number of new items, you press the button to open the site up in your browser. Which I already use the Bookmark Bar for in Safari but it seems to update at random and with the wrong numbers. Same for incoming mail, messages on xyz social site, that kind of stuff.

Demand more eye candy.

PlaceofDis
Mar 15, 2007, 04:58 PM
That's true, which would be kinda handy. Plus there is space on the 2x2 keys to show the alphabet too.

Though it's more aesthetic than practical surely? I don't play WoW and suddenly scream "WHERE IS THE JUMP BUTTON? ARRRRRGH! If only I had a 750 keyboard with cute keys!".

But back to having a few of these on a normal keyboard...would be nice for assigning RSS feeds to. It updates, the key shows the number of new items, you press the button to open the site up in your browser. Which I already use the Bookmark Bar for in Safari but it seems to update at random and with the wrong numbers. Same for incoming mail, messages on xyz social site, that kind of stuff.

Demand more eye candy.

know you can buy it with mainly normal keys and have the ones you want be OLED right?

i'd like to see pricing for the keys and such to see how it would be to buy and upgrade slowly.
its a sweet looking keyboard.

Allotriophagy
Mar 15, 2007, 05:10 PM
know you can buy it with mainly normal keys and have the ones you want be OLED right?

i'd like to see pricing for the keys and such to see how it would be to buy and upgrade slowly.
its a sweet looking keyboard.

Can you? Hmm...

I was just looking for the Optimus Mini 3 in the UK but the only seller does not sell it online - have to call up for a price. In the US it is about $150 and Germany works out at 95. So, not cheap for three buttons.

The silver styling of it would go very nicely with the Mac Pro rather than my iMac, sadly. Black would obviously be nice with the Mac Book.

I'm just really in the mood to BUY something tonight.

4np
Mar 15, 2007, 05:14 PM
It is user customisable, so in Photoshop for example, it could be made (probably comes with presets as well) to look like the second image, and in a game, the first image...

Apple itself sells several different keyboards for use with -for example- Final Cut Pro. Using an OLED keyboard could indeed cusomize the keyboard layout for the particular software package you are using at that time.

For professional use it can be very handy and for casual use it may come in handy or just be plain fun ;)

Here is an example key from the keyboard:

http://www.artlebedev.ru/blog/103key2007.jpg

4np
Mar 15, 2007, 05:19 PM
Can you? Hmm...

Yep, check that 'source' link I posted. There it reads -among others-:


This means that we'll be able to provide several pre-configured options.

Possible configuration come to mind:
* Only F-keys having displays
* All the letter keys having displays (without numeric keypad part)
* All the keys (including arrows :-) having displays

We may have three type of keys:
* Display keys with OLED screens (what it's all about)
* Back-lit keys for the places that do not require displays (like Tab key)
* Standard dumb plastic keys

As well, we'll be selling keys separately for those who wish to upgrade their Optimus or replace some of the keys.

4np
Mar 15, 2007, 05:21 PM
Probably Windows only?

Doesn't look like it ;)

http://www.artlebedev.ru/blog/optiview.jpg

They also use Mac's themselves:

http://www.artlebedev.ru/blog/cebit2.jpg

Also, they have mac software available (see source link I posted).

ghall
Mar 15, 2007, 05:51 PM
That looks awesome. I remember reading about that thing a while back, but I didn't think it was going to be so much. I wan't one, but there's a million other better things to do with that kind of money.

Allotriophagy
Mar 15, 2007, 05:59 PM
I want one, but there's a million other better things to do with that kind of money.

Pfft. I bet you cannot even name one!

Counterfit
Mar 15, 2007, 06:06 PM
WooHoo! Vaporware no more!

WildCowboy
Mar 15, 2007, 06:07 PM
WooHoo! Vaporware no more!

Don't speak too soon...November/December is a long way off.

Lixivial
Mar 15, 2007, 06:39 PM
This is one of those things that I'd never forgive myself for purchasing. It's just not justifiable, since I find my current keyboard performs well enough. But... wow... I definitely won't stop lusting for it.

QuantumLo0p
Mar 15, 2007, 06:40 PM
Figgin nice. Alas, at that price point I will probably be saving my dollars for an Octo-Core Mac Pro.

Still, it looks VERY nice. If it actually works as well as it has been hyped up to be it will be a spectacular piece of hardware.

RedTomato
Mar 15, 2007, 07:29 PM
Wow. I never thought I'd see a keyboard with an option to purchase it one key at a time.

Even more amazing is that that is how most people will probably purchase it.

lu0s3r322
Mar 15, 2007, 10:07 PM
wont it be like:

"oh i think ill buy the standard one and upgrade slowly instead of buying the ultimate $1,490 one"

5 years later...

"finally my last upgrade, let's see, my total is.....one thousand....four hundred...and ninty....dollars. &*#$!"

Abstract
Mar 16, 2007, 02:06 AM
Meh, I'll check their site again later for a sale, or maybe on Boxing Day.

RedTomato
Mar 16, 2007, 04:21 AM
"finally my last upgrade, let's see, my total is.....one thousand....four hundred...and ninty....dollars. &*#$!"

I'll cost far more than that if you buy it one key at a time. I would expect each key, after postage and packing, to cost near to $50.

114 keys x $50 = $5700

Base keyboard = $300 (wild guess)

Total = $6000

:eek:

MacBoobsPro
Mar 16, 2007, 04:27 AM
Wow they have REALLY missed the boat on this thing. Its taken them forever to get this thing out (ive known about it for about 2 years) and now they want how much? :eek:

There was a load of interest when it first came about and many may of bitten the bullet and bought it then. But now its old news and way too expensive. Although its a great product i think this particular one will flop.

In the near future we may see more of these things and they will be better received but they wont last long because touchscreen stuff is just around the corner (not just from Apple). 5 years everything will be touch screen stuff.

Possibly :p

Abstract
Mar 16, 2007, 04:43 AM
But some people like the tactile feel of keys being pressed and giving physical response.

I'll cost far more than that if you buy it one key at a time. I would expect each key, after postage and packing, to cost near to $50.

114 keys x $50 = $5700

Base keyboard = $300 (wild guess)

Total = $6000

:eek:

ZOMG! A BUNCH OF RANDOM NUMBERS THAT YOU CAME UP WITH ON THE SPOT!! :eek:




(but regardless of the actual price you mentioned, you're right in saying that it'll cost much more if you buy everything separately.

RedTomato
Mar 16, 2007, 05:27 AM
ZOMG! A BUNCH OF RANDOM NUMBERS THAT YOU CAME UP WITH ON THE SPOT!! :eek:

JUST LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS! ZOMG! :D




(but regardless of the actual price you mentioned, you're right in saying that it'll cost much more if you buy everything separately.





Iggazackly.

dmw007
Mar 16, 2007, 08:20 AM
That keyboard is pretty amazing, but there is no way I am spending that much money on it. :eek:

daze
Mar 16, 2007, 10:53 AM
Way too expensive... Maybe the prices will come down in a few years...

Lord Blackadder
Mar 16, 2007, 03:15 PM
Wow, that keyboard is the way of the future. In 10 years you'll probably be able to get one for $50...can't wait. :D

AoWolf
Mar 16, 2007, 05:13 PM
Way too expensive... Maybe the prices will come down in a few years...

I hope so this really has potential. I can just imagine playing wow and the keys coming up with my class icons for on the number bars. When I hit shift it would turn to my alternate two bars. Ohhh and when I started a chat box it would turn back to text...

A man could do great things with one of those.

ezekielrage_99
Mar 16, 2007, 09:42 PM
I want one, but for the price I don't think that's going to happen.

Maybe if they licence the Keyboard out to Logitech, M$ or Apple we might see a price drop, that's what I'm hoping for.....

macsforme
Mar 16, 2007, 09:56 PM
I'll cost far more than that if you buy it one key at a time. I would expect each key, after postage and packing, to cost near to $50.

114 keys x $50 = $5700

Base keyboard = $300 (wild guess)

Total = $6000

:eek:

Sweet. I'll have to buy a full keyboard, then it'll be eBay time. :)

jsw
Mar 16, 2007, 10:09 PM
You realize, of course, that the porn industry will find a use for this.

Personally, once prices come down, I think this'd be great for kids learning to use a keyboard.

killr_b
Mar 17, 2007, 04:50 PM
First the RED camera and now this.

I love when vaporware becomes the pimp new hardware! :D

psychofreak
Mar 17, 2007, 04:59 PM
First the RED camera and now this.

I love when vaporware becomes the pimp new hardware! :D

Its not here yet...

I think that when a Jeff Han-esque computer becomes standard, this will be rendered useless...with changing keys easy on a virtual keyboard...

RedTomato
Mar 17, 2007, 05:24 PM
I think that when a Jeff Han-esque computer becomes standard, this will be rendered useless...with changing keys easy on a virtual keyboard...

I don't think so. Ever tried to type fast on a keyboard layout on a touch screen? I have. It ain't easy.

You can't type at the same time as talking to someone else or reading some notes, as there is no physical indicator of when your fingers stray away from the centre of the keys.

I imagine it'll be the same for these tabletop projection keyboards.

Physical keyboards will be with us for a long time yet.

Imagine playing WoW or Quake or whatever using a virtual keyboard, and loosing cos your hands were slightly mis-aligned with the keyboard display?

Our bodies have evolved over millenia to use tactile feedback. Throwing that away would be a mistake.

Sesshi
Mar 17, 2007, 06:07 PM
But, at a price of $ 1490,-, what would you rather buy? A new Mac or a new fancy keyboard? ;)

Both. And more than one. I've been waiting for this for quite a while. Let's hope the keyboard action doesn't actually suck.

RedTomato
Mar 17, 2007, 06:24 PM
Our bodies have evolved over millenia to use tactile feedback. Throwing that away would be a mistake.

Replying to myself - the first sign of an insane mind - I recall in William Gibson's Neuromancer sequence, he made a big thing out of his cyberspace keyboards having tactile feedback, specifically raised ridges on the on-off keys etc to aid in jacking out in emergencies.

How he created all this from seeing a Sony Walkman in a shopwindow (and typed it out on a manual typewriter over several years) I'll never know. There lies genius.

synth3tik
Mar 17, 2007, 06:28 PM
So it's cool and all, but really. The price is stupid. I thought I was stupidly price before and stopped paying attention to it, then they upped the price $300.:mad:

GFLPraxis
Mar 17, 2007, 09:17 PM
Oh geez! I was reading the thread and wondering why everyone was complaining about the price, then I re-read the OP and realized I missed a zero (thought it was $149).

That price is ridiculous.

Sesshi
Mar 18, 2007, 07:14 AM
Well - I think about it like this: A Sony player with a compact colour OLED display is 150, so divide by five for the display cost maybe, times 101 = 3030.

Therefore it's a bargain.

And don't try and talk me out of it :D :p

RedTomato
Mar 18, 2007, 07:45 AM
Each key is 32x32 = 1024 pixels.

Times 114 keys is 116 736 pixels, call it 100k pixels, or just over 280x340 (half VGAish resolution)

You could display a basic video on that, with the screen subdivided between each key.

Rather expensive though :)

Still trying to figure out how this could be useful for porn.

"Hey big boy, press my buttons" and try to figure out which key is showing the relevant erogenous zone?

Excellent excuse to apply for a sex-ed grant for this? Gives a new meaning to looking for the G-spot :rolleyes:

topgunn
Mar 18, 2007, 09:16 AM
http://www.artlebedev.ru/blog/103key2007.jpg
This isn't real is it? The edges are so smooth and don't line up with the pixels.

RedTomato
Mar 18, 2007, 10:00 AM
Good point.

I'm a bit of a keyboard geek, and I expanded that photo of the 'R' key and counted the pixels. It's about 16x16 pixels. Could be a pre-production sample, or photoshopped.

The photo isn't from directly above, so the white may not line up with the edges of the dark pixels, but I do agree the curve of the R is more smooth than should be possible.

Also note the complete absence of staircasing or jaggies on the diagonal leg of the R. That's hard enough on a 640x480 display, let alone a 32x32 display.

wmmk
Mar 18, 2007, 12:02 PM
I want one, but for the price I don't think that's going to happen.

Maybe if they licence the Keyboard out to Logitech, M$ or Apple we might see a price drop, that's what I'm hoping for.....
yeah, I would love if apple laptops could have these sort of things. That'd be sweet!
You realize, of course, that the porn industry will find a use for this.

Personally, once prices come down, I think this'd be great for kids learning to use a keyboard.
I feel like you're making a reference to something, but I'm not sure what...
So it's cool and all, but really. The price is stupid. I thought I was stupidly price before and stopped paying attention to it, then they upped the price $300.:mad:
Wait, $300? I thought it was $1490!?!?!:confused:

Eric5h5
Mar 18, 2007, 04:55 PM
Wait, $300? I thought it was $1490!?!?!:confused:

He said "upped the price $300". Because last time anyone knew, the price was $1200. But that was when it was greyscale. Now it's color (again); I guess that added $300.

--Eric

bigandy
Mar 19, 2007, 10:03 AM
and plasma tvs were at least 10x the cost they are now.

so lesson here, is this is expensive now, but it'll come down in price where everyone can buy one. and complain about how there isn't a WUXGA resolution in every key.

i don't care about the price, i still want one. :)

After G
Mar 19, 2007, 04:54 PM
This could be good for babies/kids. Have each key have a picture on it or something, and when they push a button, something random happens on the screen. Maybe combined with something like AlphaBaby (http://www.kldickey.addr.com/alphababy/).

Then again, spending over a thousand bucks when you can get a $20 toy is kinda stupid.

As always, wait till it gets cheaper.

h?
Mar 20, 2007, 06:14 PM
What is the point in the keyboard??
Sorry if i am sounding stupid but why pay so much for a keyboard?? Personally i like my MB's built in one.

Mammoth
Mar 20, 2007, 06:48 PM
What is the point in the keyboard??
Sorry if i am sounding stupid but why pay so much for a keyboard?? Personally i like my MB's built in one.

A large market would be people who need to type in different languages. Rather than buying loads of keyboards which are bulky and more likely to break, they just change the layout. Especially useful for translators and the like. A smaller market would be for geeks like me who would make a plugin to play video on it.

RedTomato
Mar 20, 2007, 06:56 PM
Full Chinese keyboard.

(or Korean or Japanese or Arabic or any other non-latinate language)

killmoms
Mar 21, 2007, 09:56 AM
I've already got a Mac Pro. This is SO getting added to the lineup.