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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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17,429


Engadget has publicized an unconfirmed rumor from NewTechSpy that Apple is working on incorporating color LCD buttons alongside the trackpad of future MacBooks. The new LCD keys would reportedly change their image based on what function they are assigned to.

The idea appears to be similar to the much publicized OLED Optimus keyboard which utilizes OLED screens for the physical keys, allowing images to be displayed on the keys themselves.

NewTechSpy has no previous history as a rumor source, so this should be taken cautiously.
 

Demon

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2004
150
0
on earth
unlikely

Let's just see the Mac Tablets first before we go into such unlikely rumors. Engadget is a rumor mill and although highly entertaining, it's not a source of apple products to come. i'd like to see if there in fact is a new iPod on its way as there's really no computer which interests me until most software becomes "universal" :)
 

syklee26

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2005
519
990
IMO it would serve nothing more than an eye candy. I don't really see an advantage of using that.
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
6,415
5,986
I like the Optimus concept (and I like the designers sense of humor even more), but I don't think it's ready for prime time yet. I wonder if it might have been a better call to go with monochrome to get better pixel density and a smoother image on those tiny displays.

That, combined with the quality of the article and Apples tendency to keep things really simple leads me to classify this one under "bunk". I take this to be one guys idea of a good idea wrapped in a rumor article.
 

Super Dave

macrumors 6502

sartinsauce

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2006
191
0
Los Angeles
Okay, I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but...

I don't get it. What advantage does this Optimus offer?

I guess if I could script macros or something like that it would be okay, butt I can do that with a standard keyboard.

As far as the NewTechSpy story goes, BFD. It could be cool someday, like when apple finally started adding the function keys to their keyboards (aaahh, that was like back in the days of System 6.0.3), first we didn't know what to do with all those "F" keys.

Come to think of it, I never really used them until Expose...
 

SeaFox

macrumors 68030
Jul 22, 2003
2,586
896
Somewhere Else
Macrumors said:


Engadget has publicized an unconfirmed rumor from NewTechSpy that Apple is working on incorporating color LCD buttons alongside the trackpad of future MacBooks. The new LCD keys would reportedly change their image based on what function they are assigned to.

Why don't they just replace the touchpad itself with a larger touch sensitive LCD display?

Think of the Nintendo DS emulators that we could write!
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2004
1,191
0
LOST
that is cool and all, but that was done long before they were doing that on thier web mockups. euphonix has them standard on all of thier recent systems.

my dad is the new CFO :cool:
 

mixel

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2006
1,714
946
Leeds, UK
I think it's a good idea - especially if they can be programmed on an app by app basis.. And providing it looks nice.

Would be handy for people who forget keyboard shortcuts. :) - a bit like the buttons/sliders on Wacom Intuos tablets but with icons.. could use the laptop much more one-handedly/quickly if set up right.
 

YourHippocampus

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2006
6
0
Stumptown
i think it is great, but only....

...if there was a default function of the "keys" to be iCal, Mail, AddressBook, iTunes, etc. and that each of these was "always on" in the background, like the iPod and available to check at a moments notice without having to boot up the whole computer. yeah, that means a dedicated chip on the motherboard, like having a Palm device in the laptop.

Vista will support such a thing for pc's and Apple is better then they.
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
sartinsauce said:
I don't get it. What advantage does this Optimus offer?

I guess if I could script macros or something like that it would be okay, butt I can do that with a standard keyboard.


have a look here.

this could be a great thing, but i think it would be better going the whole hogg and having a proper OLED keyboard, like the Optimus.
 

ccool2ax

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2005
58
0
Well, I like the idea, even though it's probably not real. I wish they could replace the whole trackpad with these buttons and (I know I'm daydreaming) maybe make the little ridges between the button-screens retractable to form one unified touchscreen when needed (DS emulator, games) and come back up, maybe in differnt paterns (big area in center for a pseudo trackball, buncha little buttons for Photoshop, half Ink-pad half trackpad, etc). Impossible, right?

By the way, that's patented. By me. Or it will be.
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
5,551
5
American Riviera
bigandy said:
have a look here.

this could be a great thing, but i think it would be better going the whole hogg and having a proper OLED keyboard, like the Optimus.

If that Optimus keyboard is for real, sign me up! It would be great for me working in both French and English to be able to change from AZERTY to QWERTY and back easily, without having to remember where all the é and è keys are :). Also, I could see that doing things like equation typesetting could be much easier than is currently possible.

But, it better be as nice to type on as my powerbook, because I'm forever spoiled, and have a hard time typing on my PC box at work.
 

sartinsauce

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2006
191
0
Los Angeles
bigandy said:
have a look here.

this could be a great thing, but i think it would be better going the whole hogg and having a proper OLED keyboard, like the Optimus.


Okay, gotcha. That's just like the Sony MVS-8000 series switcher/DVE that I use at work.

Still, it would take some time to really implement that technology into my workflow at home. Seems like it would be a pain the @$$ to map icons and colors schemes. However, once you did it could be really cool. Imagine loading Avid and having your "normal" keyboard suddenly switch over and display all the keyboard shortcuts.

Remember that mac utility "Key Caps"? Is that thing still around, burried in OS X somewhere?
 

rockthecasbah

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
2,395
2
Moorestown, NJ
that optimas keyboard above is really cool, but impractical and not 100% necessary on a notebook computer. If you ask me, in a notebook i'd prefer much better battery life than to waste it will such unimportant LCDs and crap.
 

ezekielrage_99

macrumors 68040
Oct 12, 2005
3,336
17
Can't wait to buy the optima Keyboard, looks totally sweet.

About the rumor, the source isn't that credible however it's totally plausable.
 

mvelinder

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2006
104
0
It seems all of my "quick hit" buttons and shortcuts are already there though... I really can't think of anything I'd need to bind to these buttons.
 
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