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MacRumors
Jan 3, 2008, 09:39 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

A newly revealed patnent application (http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/230/new-apple-dynamic-oled-keyboard) (March 13, 2007) from Apple which describes dynamically changing keys using OLED (organic light emitting diodes) on each key face. This is similar to the widely-publicized (but not yet shipping) Optimus keyboard (http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/):


http://images.macrumors.com/article/2008/01/03/optimus-keyboard_300.jpg


By modifying the key faces, keys could reflect the current functionality, rather than relying on memorizing shortcuts. When introducing the iPhone, Apple boasted that the lack of physical keys meant that the user interface was entirely flexible.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/03/optimus-like-oled-apple-keyboard/)



kainjow
Jan 3, 2008, 09:43 AM
How about Apple patents ideas that are theirs, not someone else's :rolleyes:

CWallace
Jan 3, 2008, 09:43 AM
I believe Apple is also working on an "Optimus Tactus (http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/28/art-lebedev-kills-us-with-optimus-tactus-keyboard-concept/)" style multi-touch display keyboard.

Yankees 4 Life
Jan 3, 2008, 09:43 AM
very nice concept

krye
Jan 3, 2008, 09:45 AM
Cool, and unlike Art Lebedev, Apple actually has the cash to pull this off and make it affordable to the masses

Infinity
Jan 3, 2008, 09:45 AM
Art Lebedev, Look out, you better ship your overpriced/over-publicized soon to be-but-not-yet-shipped keyboard sometime this decade.

Actually scrap that last paragraph. Bring it on Apple!

krye
Jan 3, 2008, 09:47 AM
Art Lebedev, Look out, you better ship your overpriced/over-publicized soon to be-but-not-yet-shipped keyboard sometime this decade.

Yeh, maybe the people that bought the Axiotron ModBook will find this keyboard handy! Ha!

jakebot
Jan 3, 2008, 09:47 AM
yeah...well, macrumors says "new patent application" where as the article says the patent has "recently surfaced" so (not knowing much about patent applications) couldnt that mean they have patented it a while back? maybe something different than what Optimus has done.

If they got it to a decent price, it would be AMAZING. I use so many pro applications where I need custom keyboards for each. This would greatly help workflow. I've been dreaming of having a product like this for so long.

:)

synth3tik
Jan 3, 2008, 09:48 AM
OMG. I love the Optimus. I also think OLEDs are one of the coolest concepts.

I can not believe I said OMG.:eek:

JFreak
Jan 3, 2008, 09:49 AM
I'd buy such a keyboard in a heartbeat if Apple can make it just right as they usually do. This one looks bulky but Apple's is most likely a beautiful clean glass board.

xBerserker
Jan 3, 2008, 09:49 AM
Very cool. I'd get one if it wasn't to pricey.

longofest
Jan 3, 2008, 09:51 AM
In a word: yes.

If anyone could bring this lickable keyboard to fruition, Apple could.

Rychiar
Jan 3, 2008, 09:51 AM
how bout a new mouse...ya know one that doesnt have a trackball on top that becomes useless when you touch it for a month...grrr:mad:

arn
Jan 3, 2008, 09:52 AM
The patent application was filed March 13, 2007

arn

srobert
Jan 3, 2008, 09:54 AM
If this is ever turned into a real product, I hope Apple include a security lock slot on the keyboard.

Desirable + Expensive + easy to carry + left alone at work = danger ^_^

Slip
Jan 3, 2008, 09:55 AM
As long as its under a hundred notes Im game. Would be nice to be able to dim the keys at night/have them illuminate gently.

ejbenjamin
Jan 3, 2008, 09:57 AM
This would be a great keyboard for Final Cut users. I've used some Avid systems that have keyboard overlays, but a dynamic keyboard would be so much better. I want the icons to change with context-- e.g., if a key's function changes when I hold down the Shift key, I want the image on the key to change accordingly.

JFreak
Jan 3, 2008, 09:57 AM
Very cool. I'd get one if it wasn't to pricey.

Exactly. Currently the wireless keyboard that costs 78 euros and offers nothing new is overpriced; however, if this would be added to it, the price would be just perfect.

AmbitiousLemon
Jan 3, 2008, 10:01 AM
How about Apple patents ideas that are theirs, not someone else's :rolleyes:

Maybe Apple is patenting a version of this idea that actually works ;)

A corresponding key and manufacturing method, as well as a computer system including one or more such keys are also

This makes it sound like Apple is patenting the whole solution top to bottom, which might get them around the prior art requirement since their whole solution might be considerably different even though the end result is the same. This would also mean though that the scope of the patent would be limited to their implementation.

Mydel
Jan 3, 2008, 10:04 AM
New wireless keyboard is 79$. Now I dont even wanna think how much would that OLED be...:o Art Lebedev is over 1000$ if Im correct. I guess that it would run 300$ +....at least

JFreak beat me by 3 min :)

r88my
Jan 3, 2008, 10:04 AM
A keyboard like this on the macbook pro would be awesome

Mydel
Jan 3, 2008, 10:10 AM
A keyboard like this on the macbook pro would be awesome

I think that it would not be build in. Just an external. Do you really use your laptop keyboard all that much?

Gelfin
Jan 3, 2008, 10:12 AM
How about Apple patents ideas that are theirs, not someone else's :rolleyes:

Patent law is a lot more subtle than this. Take a look at the specific claims (http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220080001787%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20080001787&RS=DN/20080001787) they make and realize that a patent examiner might reject some of the earlier claims based on the prior art described for the Optimus and allow later ones that build on them to stand. There are some novel innovations in there not described in the Optimus literature, but more than that when filing a patent this scattershot approach is really the only sane way to go.

For that matter, the examiner must determine how "real" the Optimus is. Patents aren't for ideas; they're for ideas reduced to practice. The fact that science fiction authors have written about FTL drives won't stop you from receiving a patent should you invent one.

r88my
Jan 3, 2008, 10:12 AM
I think that it would not be build in. Just an external. Do you really use your laptop keyboard all that much?

All the time - I don't have an external keyboard. Something like this would prob be too expensive to justify buying for notebook owners.

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 10:17 AM
This would be a great keyboard for Final Cut users. I've used some Avid systems that have keyboard overlays, but a dynamic keyboard would be so much better. I want the icons to change with context-- e.g., if a key's function changes when I hold down the Shift key, I want the image on the key to change accordingly. The Optimus does that, if you go to the site and mess with the demo, you would see how awesome of an idea this is...

New wireless keyboard is 79$. Now I dont even wanna think how much would that OLED be...:o Art Lebedev is over 1000$ if Im correct. I guess that it would run 300$ +....at least

JFreak beat me by 3 min :) Optimus is only 430USD so I would figure Apple could do one for half price if they make a whole lot of them.

JFreak
Jan 3, 2008, 10:19 AM
Something like this would prob be too expensive to justify buying for notebook owners.

BTO

BklynKid
Jan 3, 2008, 10:21 AM
Yes and PLEASE bring this to the MBP update... NEXT WEEK!

Mydel
Jan 3, 2008, 10:22 AM
On the contrary I nearly never use my keyboard on MBP. Always external:D And it would increase the price of machine significantly.

Buran
Jan 3, 2008, 10:24 AM
How about Apple patents ideas that are theirs, not someone else's

Oh, so you think NO ONE should be able to make a product even resembling something someone else has come up with. Just think where we'd be if only Ford made cars. Their cars are a joke.

And the Optimus isn't the "price of a high-end cell phone" that was promised when announced. Try price of three or four high-end cell phones! I wanted one but refuse to pay their ripoff prices. If Apple can sell it for 1/3 of what Optimus is demanding, Optimus will find themselves relegated to the history books where they belong.

A $1600 keyboard is nothing more than a rich yuppie status symbol, not a tool for those who really need it

Mydel
Jan 3, 2008, 10:24 AM
Optimus is only 430USD so I would figure Apple could do one for half price if they make a whole lot of them.

Really?? I was sure its way more than that. Still overpriced;)

Buran
Jan 3, 2008, 10:26 AM
Really?? I was sure its way more than that. Still overpriced;)

For that price you get one with a customizable space bar. Yes, you read that right. THE SPACE BAR. and ONLY THE SPACE BAR.

Mydel
Jan 3, 2008, 10:29 AM
For that price you get one with a customizable space bar. Yes, you read that right. THE SPACE BAR. and ONLY THE SPACE BAR.

LOL, OLED Space Bar..:eek: So I was right that the full size is over 1000$

lazyrighteye
Jan 3, 2008, 10:32 AM
I believe Apple is also working on an "Optimus Tactus (http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/28/art-lebedev-kills-us-with-optimus-tactus-keyboard-concept/)" style multi-touch display keyboard.

Now that is a pretty slick implementation.
I could actually see something like this from Apple.

Maccus Aurelius
Jan 3, 2008, 10:33 AM
I like the idea, but as one who keeps primary applications in the dock on my desktop, and the entire applications folder in a stack, I'd probably get no real use out of this.

fastbite
Jan 3, 2008, 10:33 AM
Regardless if it is original or not this would be very very useful for many reasons, in my case sometimes I write in English and sometimes in Spanish -- try to find the bloody ñ...

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 10:33 AM
For that price you get one with a customizable space bar. Yes, you read that right. THE SPACE BAR. and ONLY THE SPACE BAR.
Well 1 button. I would think they would let you pick the button...
LOL, OLED Space Bar..:eek: So I was right that the full size is over 1000$
Yeah, my bad, I didn't actually look at the pre-order page. For all 113 keys it is 1500 dollars. The real question is (since OLED tech isn't cheap) how cheap can Apple make this and still make a profit off it. If Apple sold it for 500USD how many here would buy one?

sunfast
Jan 3, 2008, 10:35 AM
I've admired the Optimus since the first pictures of it but find it hard to believe it'll ever sell in great numbers, if it even makes it to market.

One thing we know about Apple is that, even though they make use of numerous things they didn't invent, they always come up with a new or much improved method of implementation.

Could this maybe be a great successor to the backlit keyboard on Pro laptops?

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 10:38 AM
I like the idea, but as one who keeps primary applications in the dock on my desktop, and the entire applications folder in a stack, I'd probably get no real use out of this.

You are thinking too confined. Go HERE (http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/demo/) and after it loads, click on photoshop to get a taste of the true geekiness of an OLED keyboard. Seriously if Apple could bring us this for a reasonable price, combined with multi touch, it could cause some sort of computer revolution...

bert5454
Jan 3, 2008, 10:42 AM
The patent application was filed March 13, 2007

arn

I was surprised that it would have been published now (instead of kept secret for 18 months as usual). If you take a closer look at the application, then you can see that it claims priority of a provisional application of 15 June 2006.

That is the effective date (OK, US patent law still f***s that up, but nevertheless that rule works fine for the US most of the time) for any subject-matter in that earlier application.

I don't know what Optimus disclosed and/or claimed, but I suspect that the inventive part of Apple's idea is in the program-specific behaviour of the keys. They mention as an advantage that you don't have to memorize the keys anymore. I think it is quite a disadvantage for not being able to rely on the meaning of a key, but hey, I'm a touch-typist.

Bert

diamond3
Jan 3, 2008, 10:49 AM
This would be a great keyboard for Final Cut users. I've used some Avid systems that have keyboard overlays, but a dynamic keyboard would be so much better. I want the icons to change with context-- e.g., if a key's function changes when I hold down the Shift key, I want the image on the key to change accordingly.

This is what first came to my mind as well. The thought of having all those shortcuts display when you are in FCP would be amazing. I'm just wondering how this is implemented on the whole keyboard without taking away the look of the actual keys? Would you have a button to press to activate all the shortcuts? Not that I need to see all the keyboard letters to type, but its a convenience factor I guess. Any thoughts?

Iroganai
Jan 3, 2008, 10:50 AM
Yeah, Apple changed the world when it introduced backlit keyboard in PowerBook 17" ... Now it will change the world with Optimus Maximus !

MrCrowbar
Jan 3, 2008, 11:01 AM
This is what first came to my mind as well. The thought of having all those shortcuts display when you are in FCP would be amazing. I'm just wondering how this is implemented on the whole keyboard without taking away the look of the actual keys? Would you have a button to press to activate all the shortcuts? Not that I need to see all the keyboard letters to type, but its a convenience factor I guess. Any thoughts?

Well, it would display the normal letters until you hold a function key.
For example, holding down the command key will label the "Q" key with "Quit", put the Spotlight icon on your spacebar, put "Hide" on the "H" key, etc. WHen inside a text field, the keys would display the normal letters. Try out the demo: http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/demo/

expertsleepers
Jan 3, 2008, 11:08 AM
Another similar keyboard, and even more expensive:

http://musicthing.blogspot.com/2007/09/fairlight-xynergi-can-kick-sand-in.html

seb_carley
Jan 3, 2008, 11:10 AM
Well 1 button. I would think they would let you pick the button...

Yeah, my bad, I didn't actually look at the pre-order page. For all 113 keys it is 1500 dollars. The real question is (since OLED tech isn't cheap) how cheap can Apple make this and still make a profit off it. If Apple sold it for 500USD how many here would buy one?

From Art's page:
"The service life of displays and their ribbon cables has been enhanced by making the screens embedded in the keytops motionless—it’s only the transparent caps that are pressed."

So why not just make large fixed screen behind all of those moving keys? Surely would have been a lot cheaper than up to 113 minature oleds?

diamond3
Jan 3, 2008, 11:14 AM
Well, it would display the normal letters until you hold a function key.
For example, holding down the command key will label the "Q" key with "Quit", put the Spotlight icon on your spacebar, put "Hide" on the "H" key, etc. WHen inside a text field, the keys would display the normal letters. Try out the demo: http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/demo/

Yes, and then I guess they have some way for when you are in FCS to have it display the shortcuts all the time since you don't type as much. Maybe have it where you hit the function key twice fast and then it lights up and displays the shortcuts until you clear it by hitting it again.

Mike Teezie
Jan 3, 2008, 11:22 AM
As a super heavy Photoshop user, it would be incredible if I could map the number pad keys to run my Photoshop actions. I already use the Function keys, but to be able to use even more keys over on the right would be killer.

And if it looked super sweet, well, that would be quite alright with me.

operator207
Jan 3, 2008, 11:26 AM
Now that is a pretty slick implementation.
I could actually see something like this from Apple.

The problem with a full touchscreen for a keyboard, is most people "touch" type. Can't tell if you clicking the correct key if there is no tactile feedback. Or if you have actually pushed the key hard enough if you cannot hear the key physically move (blind users).

I am sure Apple will get around this (blind users have, when the key is "touched", a voice stating the character of the key touched. etc).

All I am saying, is its one thing to light up the keyboard via optics like the PB or MBP, but having a non tactile feedback keyboard, could get difficult.

(think of all those people that type with their fingernails as opposed to their finger tips. Touch will not work well with people that type like that)


Personally, if they can make this keyboard at a decent price, and pull it off well, I would buy one in a heart beat. If nothing for coolness factor.

Cloudane
Jan 3, 2008, 11:30 AM
I love how if Microsoft stole ideas from some little innovational business they'd be seen as the scum of the universe, but Apple does the same thing (this and not to forget Konfabulator) and it's perfectly fair :D

OLEDs are rubbish anyway, I have one of those OLED MP4 watches, it got burn-in within mere hours. They also have a ridiculously low MTBF (they'll stay bright for like a year max)

twoodcc
Jan 3, 2008, 11:38 AM
this would be cool. but i doubt it will happen. they just updated the keyboard

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 11:42 AM
From Art's page:
"The service life of displays and their ribbon cables has been enhanced by making the screens embedded in the keytops motionless—it’s only the transparent caps that are pressed."

So why not just make large fixed screen behind all of those moving keys? Surely would have been a lot cheaper than up to 113 minature oleds?

If one key dies you have to replace the whole keyboard versus just one key...

SheriffParker
Jan 3, 2008, 11:43 AM
Yes and PLEASE bring this to the MBP update... NEXT WEEK!

lol I hope you are right. That would be killer...

koobcamuk
Jan 3, 2008, 11:45 AM
The fact that science fiction authors have written about FTL drives won't stop you from receiving a patent should you invent one.

Otherwise James Cameron would be very rich (the weapons in Aliens).

killmoms
Jan 3, 2008, 11:52 AM
From Art's page:
"The service life of displays and their ribbon cables has been enhanced by making the screens embedded in the keytops motionless—it’s only the transparent caps that are pressed."

So why not just make large fixed screen behind all of those moving keys? Surely would have been a lot cheaper than up to 113 minature oleds?

I believe large OLED displays are still extremely expensive/non-existent.

Lord Blackadder
Jan 3, 2008, 11:59 AM
Sounds cool, but the real question is, does it have any hope of reaching production at Apple?

An advantage Apple has over Optimus is that they could probably guarantee some economies of scale if the device did go into production.

stagi
Jan 3, 2008, 12:03 PM
This is the first time I have seen this Optimus keyboard and Wow, I would get one of these in a sec if they were just a little cheaper. For all of the PS work I do I would love to have a keyboard like that (even though I have so many shortcuts memorized it would just look so cool to have this) Hopefully apple can come up with something better and under $200.

shamino
Jan 3, 2008, 12:29 PM
I think that it would not be build in. Just an external. Do you really use your laptop keyboard all that much?
You don't? I'm typing on mine right now.
For that matter, the examiner must determine how "real" the Optimus is. Patents aren't for ideas; they're for ideas reduced to practice.
The Optimus Maximus keyboard is shipping (http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/). Engadget even got to handle one (http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/21/hands-on-with-optimus-maximus-at-last/), although the rest of us will have to wait until February (http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/26/optimus-maximus-delayed-until-february-unless-you-skimp-on-firm/), due to pending firmware updates (those who had pre-ordered can get it now, and update the firmware later.)

I think that counts as an actual invention, not just a concept.

omfintrepid
Jan 3, 2008, 12:39 PM
This seems highly suspect and just wrong when you look closely at it.

The OLED screens in big bulky keys are made redundant by the touch-screen technology Apple have already started implementing on the iPhone.

Prolonged typing on a flat surface without any give is just plain uncomfortable.

Couple this with the new slimline keyboards I really don't see this being put into development anytime soon by Apple.

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 12:43 PM
This seems highly suspect and just wrong when you look closely at it.

The OLED screens in big bulky keys are made redundant by the touch-screen technology Apple have already started implementing on the iPhone.

Prolonged typing on a flat surface without any give is just plain uncomfortable.

Couple this with the new slimline keyboards I really don't see this being put into development anytime soon by Apple.

You are probably thinking of something like the Tactus (http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus-tactus/).

bloodycape
Jan 3, 2008, 12:51 PM
I don't understand how some of you are saying OLED tech is expensive? There are many DAP that have more features, and or more space than the ipod that cost either the same or less and some of these products are from small companies.

I paid $45 for a very sleek looking Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse set. So, this should not be more than $80 usd with out a mouse and 100usd with a mouse.

Mydel
Jan 3, 2008, 12:56 PM
I don't understand how some of you are saying OLED tech is expensive? There are many DAP that have more features, and or more space than the ipod that cost either the same or less and some of these products are from small companies.

I paid $45 for a very sleek looking Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse set. So, this should not be more than $80 usd with out a mouse and 100usd with a mouse.

Big, high resolution OLED screens are extremely expensive and for now hard to produce in quantities

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 12:57 PM
I don't understand how some of you are saying OLED tech is expensive? There are many DAP that have more features, and or more space than the ipod that cost either the same or less and some of these products are from small companies.

I paid $45 for a very sleek looking Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse set. So, this should not be more than $80 usd with out a mouse and 100usd with a mouse.

If it was so cheap then there would already be plenty of cheap keyboards with the tech, TV makers wouldn't have abandoned it as the replacement for both LCD and Plasma, etc. Truth is, OLED in large devices is expensive. Lots of little programable OLED screens on a large device are expensive. The most widespread use of OLED that I have seen is in Pioneer Aftermarket source units. (I think all units use it). And even there it isn't without problems (pixels get stuck when it is cold outside/with age).

omfintrepid
Jan 3, 2008, 01:11 PM
You are probably thinking of something like the Tactus (http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus-tactus/).

my point is they are both too niche and not properly thought through. Tactus or any similar apple style keyboard would be be uncomfortable to use for prolonged periods.

OLED keys are too expensive, bulky and are in the complete opposite direction of Apple's current keyboard design.

This is why I think Apple will introduce neither, one is going against the trend and the other puts style and gimmicks above usability... ok well pot calling the kettle black there in regards to apple... but I don't think apple would try and push it that far.

And why would they, the current keyboards are both stylish and from personal experience the most comfortable keyboard i have used yet on the market?

I think everyone is getting a little too carried away with this multi touch, touch screen, OLED nonsense. Lets try and keep it in context.. on an iPhone great... full size keyboard for a PC.. I think not.

That-Is-Bull
Jan 3, 2008, 01:30 PM
The Optimus does that, if you go to the site and mess with the demo, you would see how awesome of an idea this is...

Optimus is only 430USD so I would figure Apple could do one for half price if they make a whole lot of them.

The full Optimus keyboard is $1600. The one with only 47 OLEDs is $1000, 10 OLEDs is $600, and the Optimus with only one super useful OLED on the spacebar is $460.

!¡ V ¡!
Jan 3, 2008, 01:30 PM
Not sure, however is it possible if :apple: uses their "wobbly: icon patent and implement it into a multi-touch keyboard, that way you can have multiple types of keyboard layouts and functions. I believe its also possible to make it have a tactile feel.


Imagine you can shrink a keyboard down in size, and use the keys that you really need to focus on, this also gives software developers options to deliver to its customers. :)

!¡ V ¡!
Jan 3, 2008, 01:31 PM
The full Optimus keyboard is $1600. The one with only 47 OLEDs is $1000, 10 OLEDs is $600, and the Optimus with only one super useful OLED on the spacebar is $460.

With that price structure, they plan on selling few if any (depending on delivery). ;)

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 01:35 PM
The full Optimus keyboard is $1600. The one with only 47 OLEDs is $1000, 10 OLEDs is $600, and the Optimus with only one super useful OLED on the spacebar is $460.

Well 1 button. I would think they would let you pick the button...

Yeah, my bad, I didn't actually look at the pre-order page. For all 113 keys it is 1500 dollars. The real question is (since OLED tech isn't cheap) how cheap can Apple make this and still make a profit off it. If Apple sold it for 500USD how many here would buy one?

Yeah kinda noticed on Pg 1.... ;)

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 01:36 PM
With that price structure, they plan on selling few if any (depending on delivery). ;)

We are all expecting Apple to duplicate the efforts at a much cheaper (read <250USD) price.

That-Is-Bull
Jan 3, 2008, 01:45 PM
Yeah kinda noticed on Pg 1.... ;)

I don't see it anywhere on page one. But I didn't bother checking page two 'cause my interweb is being slow right now.

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 01:52 PM
I don't see it anywhere on page one. But I didn't bother checking page two 'cause my interweb is being slow right now.

Ah, I have my settings set to 40 ppp (post per page). So for me it was page 1. Sorry.

Mydel
Jan 3, 2008, 02:06 PM
With that price structure, they plan on selling few if any (depending on delivery). ;)

Actually they claimed not so long ago that they are sold out.

CWallace
Jan 3, 2008, 02:15 PM
Actually they claimed not so long ago that they are sold out.

Well at that price, they likely don't have many takers, so even a low production rate could be "sold out".

swagi
Jan 3, 2008, 02:18 PM
If it wasn't that expensive, I guess, that the Optimus would sell like hotcakes.

OTOH, what is all the whining about? Heck, even if you pay 1,500 bucks for your keyboard, that's nothing. Why? Because the people, who could really use this keyboard (apart from the geeks) usually spend tens of thousands of dollars for their software.

Just pull together the cost of an above average Mac Pro, one or two 30"-displays, CS3 license, FCS license, maybe even Avid or Logic license, and you see 1,500 bucks actually isn't that much.

Maybe this all leads to something very new, as I'm still waiting, what Apple will do with the acquired Fingerworks knowledge!

bloodycape
Jan 3, 2008, 02:31 PM
If it was so cheap then there would already be plenty of cheap keyboards with the tech, TV makers wouldn't have abandoned it as the replacement for both LCD and Plasma, etc. Truth is, OLED in large devices is expensive. Lots of little programable OLED screens on a large device are expensive. The most widespread use of OLED that I have seen is in Pioneer Aftermarket source units. (I think all units use it). And even there it isn't without problems (pixels get stuck when it is cold outside/with age).

I still don't know why people are saying OLED(in phones and mp3 players) is expensive when small Korean companies like Cowon and iriver and large companies like Samsung are putting them in there device. They are selling their products at what about the same price or a little more than what Apple is selling. They are either putting 1.8-3in oled screens in their devices. If a small company can do it and still pack some nice goodies in their devices surely a larger company like Apple can make it cheaper with the right contract. Besides we are talking about OLED in a small device I don't remember mentioning anything about large screens or tvs.

CWallace
Jan 3, 2008, 02:35 PM
It is economies of scale.

OLEDs for cellphones and PMPs are built in the millions per year.

Key-sized OLEDs for the Optimus or wall-sized OLEDs for televisions/monitors are built in the thousands per year.

paintballguy113
Jan 3, 2008, 02:37 PM
This would be a great option on a mackbook or macbook pro.maybe they cold make it like a touch screen so it doesnt bulk up your keyboard. maybe have a key lock like on the iphone for it so u can hae it right next to touchpad

diamond.g
Jan 3, 2008, 02:56 PM
I still don't know why people are saying OLED(in phones and mp3 players) is expensive when small Korean companies like Cowon and iriver and large companies like Samsung are putting them in there device. They are selling their products at what about the same price or a little more than what Apple is selling. They are either putting 1.8-3in oled screens in their devices. If a small company can do it and still pack some nice goodies in their devices surely a larger company like Apple can make it cheaper with the right contract. Besides we are talking about OLED in a small device I don't remember mentioning anything about large screens or tvs.

To my own credit I did say "Lots of little programable OLED screens on a large device". I figure 113 keys with OLED displays on them plus the accompanying electronics to control it all isn't dirt cheap. But I would also figure there is enough leeway (read:uniqueness) in it that one could have a tidy profit margin (that thing Apple loves) when selling them.

ucfgrad93
Jan 3, 2008, 02:58 PM
Looks pretty cool. I'd love to have one if it wasn't too expensive.

izzle22
Jan 3, 2008, 03:00 PM
I don't see what the big problem is here; Apple has plenty of cash in the bank. It would be a lot easier for them to just buy this company and make the changes on the keyboard to fit Apple's vision. I was reading about a month ago that Apple needs to spend some of the money they have accumulated. Several analysts made comments on what they could purchase.

SheriffParker
Jan 3, 2008, 03:01 PM
I want one. Apple can make this happen better than most.

Wayfarer
Jan 3, 2008, 03:15 PM
Welcome to 2008. :)

HiRez
Jan 3, 2008, 03:42 PM
I'm not willing to pay over $10,000 for one, but I'd probably pay a few hundred, as long as Apple provides Cocoa classes for programming it. I can think of all kinds of cool things it could do for application developers.

ckurowic
Jan 3, 2008, 03:55 PM
This looks interesting. I personally think it would be pretty cool. I wouldn't go out and special purchase one I don't think, but if it came with a new computer that would be neat.

I don't see what the big problem is here; Apple has plenty of cash in the bank. It would be a lot easier for them to just buy this company and make the changes on the keyboard to fit Apple's vision. I was reading about a month ago that Apple needs to spend some of the money they have accumulated. Several analysts made comments on what they could purchase.

They use the cash for R&D, just like most companies with large cash reserves. They do spend it, just not on physical acquisitions.

izzle22
Jan 3, 2008, 04:02 PM
They use the cash for R&D, just like most companies with large cash reserves. They do spend it, just not on physical acquisitions.

The article mentions that Apple has a lot more cash on hand than most companies. Way to much for R&D alone. The analysts said it was not a good idea for Apple to keep that much cash on hand and needed to invest in physical acquisitions.

ezekielrage_99
Jan 3, 2008, 04:54 PM
I've wanted one of the Optimus Keyboards for ages but the cost is a little bit of a killer. If Apple releases something like this I would buy in second ( :looking for avatar where the icon is getting a credit card ready: ) :cool:


I would so be loling if we see something like this at Macworld 2008

MattInOz
Jan 3, 2008, 04:58 PM
Patent law is a lot more subtle than this. Take a look at the specific claims (http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220080001787%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20080001787&RS=DN/20080001787) they make and realize that a patent examiner might reject some of the earlier claims based on the prior art described for the Optimus and allow later ones that build on them to stand. There are some novel innovations in there not described in the Optimus literature, but more than that when filing a patent this scattershot approach is really the only sane way to go.

For that matter, the examiner must determine how "real" the Optimus is. Patents aren't for ideas; they're for ideas reduced to practice. The fact that science fiction authors have written about FTL drives won't stop you from receiving a patent should you invent one.

Ok i think i see what you are getting at,...
In the apple invention it is a keyboard of keys with screens.
The key is self-contained it has an IC with memory which gets loaded with the bitmaps ahead of time, then displays the bitmaps when told, the key may even have it's own switch built-in, so it could send a signal down the line to say it's been pressed. Which means it might be able watch the bus and react to other keys.

The Keyboard is a great idea but it's clear the Optimus method is really complex.

This is really simple, mass produce keys, in a couple of sizes, then drop them in to place then map them. Sure each key is harder to produce but then you are taking out the printing and sorting steps as well.

You could see the keys being sold for lots of other button applications (illuminated controls in cars, planes) as well, which drives the economy of scale.

chelsel
Jan 3, 2008, 05:18 PM
How about fixing the crappy MacBook Pro keyboards... mushy and short travel... how'd they accomplish that!?

cb911
Jan 3, 2008, 05:31 PM
wow. this is a great piece of news (rumor?) If Apple goes ahead with this... well that'll be sweeet!! :D

BiikeMike
Jan 3, 2008, 05:58 PM
This is like the second time in a month that I have posted front page news and not been credited with it :mad:

Oh well, as long as people get to see it :)


I think it's interesting, I've been wanting an Optimus Maximus, but not for $1500!

Gelfin
Jan 3, 2008, 06:42 PM
The Keyboard is a great idea but it's clear the Optimus method is really complex.

This is really simple, mass produce keys, in a couple of sizes, then drop them in to place then map them. Sure each key is harder to produce but then you are taking out the printing and sorting steps as well.

Indeed. No offense to his ingenuity, but Lebedev is selling a half-baked product. It's cool, but brittle, expensive and hard to come by. He married himself to an approach that doesn't scale well to keyboard dimensions, and however cool it is, he's been failing slowly at it for years now. His product is available to only a statistically insignificant fraction of its potential audience. Admittedly I only became aware today that he'd ever gotten them into anyone's hands.

The approach described in the Apple application is much simpler and more robust. A two-wire interface to a locally-chipped key solves a couple of the major problems Lebedev seemingly couldn't, and the fact Apple describes a method for manufacturing the keys themselves is quite important. Really, the most significant parts of the patent are the ones that probably seem most boring from the "cool product" perspective.

Figuring out how to make somebody else's failing idea work isn't idea theft. The way to make it work is the idea. Lebedev says he has patents pending on his work. Might be that Apple owes him some royalties if they make this keyboard, but that's for future negotiations to decide. In fact, if Apple figures out a way to make this technology affordable to the size of audience that has expressed interest in it, Lebedev might come out way ahead on royalties compared to what he'd make selling his own board at $1600 a pop. This is the way the system is supposed to work. People who innovate make money and we get better products.

Supermacguy
Jan 3, 2008, 07:03 PM
Am I the only person who does not think this is the greatest thing ever? I mean, it's an overpriced overly complex keyboard. Manufacturing costs will be enormous, even if Apple finds "a cheap way". The cost of materials, in real environmental impact, seems far too high compared to what can be done with just a regular keyboard. How does one recycle such a keyboard? What happens when you spill some water, or soda, on it? (We have that happen quarterly at our office, desk-eaters.) Can just one key be replaced if it fails or gets cracked? How will it look in 5 years, do the keys become dirty and smudgy (like every well used keyboard)? Will it even work in 3 years (like all Apple keyboards, some slowly fail to work on older AND newer machines)?

lancerx78
Jan 3, 2008, 08:19 PM
For those of you in Manhattan who would like to check out the Optimus keyboard, it is on display at the Wired store in SoHo.

chubad
Jan 3, 2008, 08:51 PM
This is like, "Off the scale" cool!:D
It would be practical too if the keys could be re-mapped for different apps on the fly!:cool:

izzle22
Jan 3, 2008, 09:40 PM
This is like, "Off the scale" cool!:D
It would be practical too if the keys could be re-mapped for different apps on the fly!:cool:

Ahhhhh...That's the whole point. It does do that.

Yuppi
Jan 3, 2008, 10:36 PM
The idea is brilliant. And if the price tag for the optimus would be about a third I would start considering it. I have to use multiple keyboard layouts and would be incredible happy with that technology. Switching between German, English (for programming) and WUBI-XING would be very cool. Not to even mention Photoshop that I use occasionally too. If Apple makes it happen within a reaqsonible price (and that is for me everything up to 500 USD) I will buy it.

Dale_Nx26
Jan 4, 2008, 01:07 AM
Oh, so you think NO ONE should be able to make a product even resembling something someone else has come up with. Just think where we'd be if only Ford made cars. Their cars are a joke.

And the Optimus isn't the "price of a high-end cell phone" that was promised when announced. Try price of three or four high-end cell phones! I wanted one but refuse to pay their ripoff prices. If Apple can sell it for 1/3 of what Optimus is demanding, Optimus will find themselves relegated to the history books where they belong.

A $1600 keyboard is nothing more than a rich yuppie status symbol, not a tool for those who really need it

Oh, so you think EVERYONE should copy from Apple, like...Microsoft? I'm not picking a side, I'm just using Microsoft as an example since so many people complain how Microsoft copies from Apple. :rolleyes: The patent system sucks so what does it matter.

MrSmith
Jan 4, 2008, 01:44 AM
Next step: a keyboard that detects a new user by measuring sweat on their fingertips and displays useful 'Now Press Me' keys.

koobcamuk
Jan 4, 2008, 03:44 AM
I'm not willing to pay over $10,000 for one...

$10,000 is your limit, eh? :)

Bring on MacWorld.

Bring on a bucket-load of disappointment too! :rolleyes:

MrSmith
Jan 4, 2008, 03:51 AM
$10,000 is your limit, eh? :)

Bring on MacWorld.

Bring on a bucket-load of disappointment too! :rolleyes:
He said that's a price he's not willing to pay. He said he'd only be willing to pay a few hundred. ;)

a456
Jan 4, 2008, 04:10 AM
Is this cheaper or more practical than a keyboard that is a single touch screen where keys can not only change but be replaced by sliders and dials etc.? Of course there is the key travel response argument but the iPhone is already changing the way people think about keyboards as is the new Apple keyboard. I imagine that the Optimus type keyboard would be more expensive (or the same price) due to labour intensiveness, but I may well be wrong. Either way these keyboards will mean a lot more time looking at the keyboard rather than the screen as our touch type brains get scrambled with the idea of contextual layouts - reminds me of those keyboard overlays that you used to get for the function keys with WordPerfect.

Edit: Just seen Optimus Tactus (http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus-tactus/) which is the company's next step. I think however that the company seem very stuck with the traditional form factor of a keyboard and that using the touch screen functionality to make the screen area smaller may make for a better value keyboard. This is where Apple's innovations in software and daring could take the concept to its next level.

Cloudane
Jan 4, 2008, 05:32 AM
Next step: a keyboard that detects a new user by measuring sweat on their fingertips and displays useful 'Now Press Me' keys.

Or a big red button that, when you press it, changes to say "Do not press this button again" :)

Schtumple
Jan 4, 2008, 09:01 AM
Be nice to see this from a professional point of view, keys that show what there functions are for each app, instead of memorizing each combo for Final Cut, PS, Aperture etc.

MikeTheC
Jan 4, 2008, 09:50 AM
None for me, thanks.

I'm already ready to replace the new iMac keyboard I'll get when I buy my new iMac with an existing Apple keyboard I already have (their last generation before the present "laptop button" style).

The new keyboards are junk, and while the ones featured in this thread look cool, there's no way I'd want to type on them.

Or a big red button that, when you press it, changes to say "Do not press this button again" :)

God bless Douglas Adams, Cloudane. Man, I got a chuckle outta that.

milo
Jan 4, 2008, 10:59 AM
It's cool technology, I've already seen it and played with it in other devices. But it is very expensive, we won't see it in a keyboard at a mainstream price range for a long time, maybe years.

Sure, a small screen like that is cheap. But "cheap" probably means $10 or more (and that's on the conservative side). If each screen is $10, than a keyboard with over 100 of them would be over $1000, not to mention the additional hardware needed to run 100 separate (though small) video displays.

For a keyboard to cost $100 or less, the screens would have to be under a buck each. That's a ways off.

Oh, so you think NO ONE should be able to make a product even resembling something someone else has come up with. Just think where we'd be if only Ford made cars. Their cars are a joke.

It sounds like you don't understand patents. You aren't supposed to be able to patent something that has already been patented or is already shipping (prior art). And if something does get patented (and the patent holds up in court), they can keep the tech to themselves, but more often they'll just let others use it and negotiate a royalty.

But something as broad as "cars" isn't going to get patented, if it did it would never hold up to scrutiny.

CWallace
Jan 4, 2008, 12:17 PM
Am I the only person who does not think this is the greatest thing ever? I mean, it's an overpriced overly complex keyboard. Manufacturing costs will be enormous, even if Apple finds "a cheap way". The cost of materials, in real environmental impact, seems far too high compared to what can be done with just a regular keyboard. How does one recycle such a keyboard? What happens when you spill some water, or soda, on it? (We have that happen quarterly at our office, desk-eaters.) Can just one key be replaced if it fails or gets cracked? How will it look in 5 years, do the keys become dirty and smudgy (like every well used keyboard)? Will it even work in 3 years (like all Apple keyboards, some slowly fail to work on older AND newer machines)?

All good points. Which is why something like the Optimus Tactus is the more logical way for Apple (and Optimus, for that matter) to go. A single uniform surface is easier to protect against liquid intrusion (and perhaps physical impact), is easier to clean, can be configured ad-infinitum, and offers other things like video or movement-control (multi-touch).

Yuppi
Jan 4, 2008, 01:24 PM
I read the patent and I conclude 2 things from it. The first being that Apples application is very valid and does not interfer with the art lebedev one. The reason is very simple. Art lebedev puts a static display under a transparent cap while Apple has an application for an illuminated cap.

Another detail I noticed is that the apple application is talking about animation and such, but not about multi color. So there is a chance that the apple one is simply black and white which reduces the amount of data that needs to be transfered and processed dramatically.

I also conclude that Apple is very close to finally create a product out of this as the production details a very detailed. For example there is a block diagram of the ASIC. Or the details on how the OLED stuff comes into the cap. An interesting detail is that they are talking about the glass-substrate which could also be used to be part of the cap :) The current iMac keyboard (which i really love) shows that user accept completely flat caps which make it very easy to built-inthe OLEDs.

I am really looking forward to buy such a keyboard for a resonable price.
Here the application in detail:
http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220080001787%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20080001787&RS=DN/20080001787

homeboy
Jan 4, 2008, 02:26 PM
How about Apple patents ideas that are theirs, not someone else's :rolleyes:

Apple are not patenting an idea, but instead a technology/construction of an idea/product. Many of the big companies do this all the time, go buy an Audi or Bimmer and it will likely be protected by several hundred patents, yet it's not any different of a car compared with the rest of the cars on the market.
With that being said there is too much fuss and buzz around Apple's patents.

Alvin777
Jan 4, 2008, 05:33 PM
Apple and Lebedev look like they are working together that's why the Optimus has not been released yet. Lebedev needs Apple's capacity for economy of scales and Apple needs their patents to modify the Optimus' design further by simplifying it with no keys- it should look like one big multi-touch keyboard. The multi-touch might need another patent purchase from that other multi-touch inventor (chinese looking guy who's product has not come out of shelves yet either which could be a good clue Apple is working with these two).

DMann
Jan 4, 2008, 09:44 PM
this would be cool. but i doubt it will happen. they just updated the keyboard

History does have the tendency of repeating itself..........

yamabushi
Jan 5, 2008, 06:41 AM
I could see Apple using a combination of traditional keyboards with certain Optimus style keys or a Tactus style area.

A MBP with a normal backlit keyboard combined with a large Tactus-like area beneath it to replace the touchpad would be plenty cool and useful. Something like that could also probably be done without increasing the price by too much.

I would buy one for sure. Maybe a couple more as gifts.

sammich
Jan 5, 2008, 07:00 AM
This is what first came to my mind as well. The thought of having all those shortcuts display when you are in FCP would be amazing. I'm just wondering how this is implemented on the whole keyboard without taking away the look of the actual keys? Would you have a button to press to activate all the shortcuts? Not that I need to see all the keyboard letters to type, but its a convenience factor I guess. Any thoughts?

I would think (hope) that it would change when you press a modifier key. Say you pressed the option key, and the normal keyboard lettering will be replaced by the appropriate symbols.

diamond.g
Jan 5, 2008, 07:04 AM
I would think (hope) that it would change when you press a modifier key. Say you pressed the option key, and the normal keyboard lettering will be replaced by the appropriate symbols.

The optimus demo has ben posted a couple times in this thread. I suggeest everyone take a gander at it. If Apple were to do basically what the demo shows, it could usher in a keyboard revolution! :eek:

Stoobs
Jan 5, 2008, 11:34 AM
Looking at the studio/about section here: http://www.artlebedev.com/studio/

I can't really see them being willingly bought by Apple, however, I could see them either doing commissions for Apple, licensing deals, or Apple perhaps poaching key staff.

offwidafairies
Jan 5, 2008, 03:45 PM
In a word: yes.

If anyone could bring this lickable keyboard to fruition, Apple could.

lickable? mmm

John Purple
Jan 8, 2008, 07:45 AM
(I've posted this in another thread a few minutes ago, but it was the wrong thread. Sorry, if you read it for the second time :o) )

Apple has to do something revolutionary about the user interface as it has done with the mouse or with WYSIWYG ages ago - or with the iPod and the iPhone.
Only getting faster, slimer, cooler will not help to leave MS behind in the long run. Others will do faster, slimer, cooler etc. for less money (I agree that OSX is still somewhat better than all WINs, but not sooooo much better, Apple was in the past).
For most people out in the streets even OSX is far to complicated to use (Take a look around you, next time you go to town ). If Apple wants to win the battle in the consumer market (that's why they hired that Avon lady yesterday for their board??) with products interesting for all of those who are still not willing or able to become computer freaks (e.g. 'all-in-one' products: internet, tv, radio, movie-on-demand, frige-control ...and computer, books-on-demand .......) Steve will have to speed up, creating a really new fool-proof interface concept and starting it on the 'pro' - product line. Technology is available nowadays.

My first Mac: 'Hello' 128 kB RAM :D

DMann
Jan 8, 2008, 02:37 PM
Apple has to do something revolutionary about the user interface as it has done with the mouse or with WYSIWYG ages ago - or with the iPod and the iPhone.
Only getting faster, slimer, cooler will not help to leave MS behind in the long run. Others will do faster, slimer, cooler etc. for less money (I agree that OSX is still somewhat better than all WINs, but not sooooo much better, Apple was in the past).
For most people out in the streets even OSX is far to complicated to use (Take a look around you, next time you go to town ). If Apple wants to win the battle in the consumer market (that's why they hired that Avon lady yesterday for their board??) with products interesting for all of those who are still not willing or able to become computer freaks (e.g. 'all-in-one' products: internet, tv, radio, movie-on-demand, frige-control ...and computer, books-on-demand .......) Steve will have to speed up, creating a really new fool-proof interface concept and starting it on the 'pro' - product line. Technology is available nowadays.

Let's just say that what has been revealed with the iPhone is the very small tip of the iceberg of what is already up and running at 1 Infinite Loop. Releases are planned so as not to cannibalize current products, and/or offer models for competitors to emulate. The fool-proof interface you mention already exists, and will be introduced in due time - innovation shall continue to reign.

ChrisK018
Jan 8, 2008, 03:55 PM
Anybody who is not into the Optimus keyboard is clearly an agent of the Decepticons.

I wish I used a program on my iMac that would get me all amped for an Apple keyboard with neat little pics in it, but I don't... well, maybe Cubase...