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Input Devices Toys Hardware

Optimus Keyboard Pre-Orders In Mere Hours 319

Posted by kdawson
from the this-time-for-sure dept.
godzillopiteco sends timely word that Art. Lebedev Studio is finally going to accept pre-orders for the Optimus Maximus Keyboard — in just under 11 hours at the time this story posts, according to the countdown timer on the site. (Late last year we were primed to pre-order in December 2006.) Read the project's blog for some recent developments.
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Optimus Keyboard Pre-Orders In Mere Hours

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  • More details (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:08PM (#19194433) Journal
    I'm less interested in the pre orders and more interested in the "description and detailed specifications," to be released at the same time.

    This thing has sounded, looked, and felt like another Phantom since the start...
    • Re:More details (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:51PM (#19194649) Homepage Journal
      The phantom was just another games console.
      People actually want to do this, but the only thing stopping them is technology.

      I guess at some point or other we have cursed keyboards for having fixed symbols and wished for something better, I remember the cards you used to place above your Fn keys for word processing and graphics programs, we all get freaked out remembering the keys to games and I would love to see my keys change fonts to match what I am typing.

      This keyboard will give you all that, its not just another console - its new.

      Having said all that, you can probably currently just keep a few customised boards [fentek-ind.com] and switch as needed for less than the current expected price.
      • I guess at some point or other we have cursed keyboards for having fixed symbols and wished for something better, I remember the cards you used to place above your Fn keys for word processing and graphics programs, we all get freaked out remembering the keys to games and I would love to see my keys change fonts to match what I am typing.

        You know, someone came up with a solution to this almost a quarter of a century ago... the ACT Apricot PC [old-computers.com] (released in 1983) had a keyboard which included six special keys with a programmable LCD display above them.

        It's surprising that this idea never took off elsewhere. Granted, it would probably have been moderately (but not prohibitively) expensive then, but I'm sure that the cost would have come down. Maybe ACT had patented it, but if that was the reason, why would they sit on it?

        I remember first c

    • Re:More details (Score:4, Informative)

      by khephera (1009359) * <`moc.oohay' `ta' `todhsals-45arehpehk'> on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:53PM (#19194675) Journal
      $1500?? I think I'll stick with my blue-led-backlit Deck (http://www.deckkeyboards.com), thankyewverymuch.
      • Re:More details (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ThePeices (635180) on Sunday May 20, 2007 @03:50AM (#19196687)
        You have to remember that if the keyboard turns out as well as we expect, then the high price is not a problem. There are a very large number of rich people around the world, and having something as useful and good looking as we hope the Maximus turns out to be, it would become a status symbol. All the rich geeks can get to have one and brag about it...Thats all assuming the reviews are positive, but this is such a great and good looking idea its a guaranteed sell. Gamers would love it, Photoshop users would love it, hell i would love it. With the demand the price will come down as production scales, its just a matter of time until it becomes affordable. Ipods cost alot but plenty of people still buy them, one of these could be as must have as the ipod.
        • Re:More details (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rblancarte (213492) on Sunday May 20, 2007 @10:19AM (#19198409) Homepage
          That only goes so far. I mean, it is one thing when you are looking at a price difference of maybe 20-30%. I think even 100% in some cases is fair. You talk about the iPod, but it's cost is on par with other similar sized MP3 players. But for this to be pretty much 2000% more expensive than most keyboards! That is a no go for me. I mean, sure it is a great idea and such, but only goes so far. I mean, the kind of functionality help, I don't see it being worth $1500.

          I don't see them being sold at an sort of rate that is going to drive down prices.

          I have to agree, I think my G15 is going to work fine for me.

          RonB
        • Re:More details (Score:5, Insightful)

          by admactanium (670209) on Sunday May 20, 2007 @12:41PM (#19199241) Homepage

          Thats all assuming the reviews are positive, but this is such a great and good looking idea its a guaranteed sell. Gamers would love it, Photoshop users would love it, hell i would love it.
          being a photoshop user (retoucher) i woudn't use this keyboard for that kind of work. there's no point and it's needlessly expensive. i can remember the keys that i need. also, many of the tools in photoshop require multiple presses of the same key to invoke. for instance, you can toggle between the many types of lasso tool (freeform, rubber band, magnetic) by pressing the "L" key.

          this keyboard wouldn't really offer any benefit to a user since, at best, it can either display the current tool, or the next tool in the heirarchy of that button. in either case, i already know how to toggle to that next tool and i don't need the keyboard to tell me what the next tool is.

          for $250 i might buy it. but for $1500, i'd recommend any photoshop user buy more ram, a bigger monitor (or a secondary or tertiary monitor) and a wacom tablet and still have some money left over.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Propaganda13 (312548)
        $1500 Hmmmmm, two 24" LCD monitors or the pre-order of a keyboard that changes icons that I won't look at and if I did, would be covered up by my hands. Well, at least I've got a couple of hours to think about this.
    • Re:More details (Score:5, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai ... m minus language> on Saturday May 19, 2007 @08:34PM (#19194921) Homepage Journal

      This thing has sounded, looked, and felt like another Phantom since the start...

      I don't think that's really fair. The Phantom was constantly promoted as "coming soon!" The Optimus OTOH, started life as a conceptual design. Optimus never promised a product from the design, and in fact stated that it would be too expensive with current OLED prices.

      The only reason why they're making this keyboard is because there has been unprecidented demand for it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nacturation (646836)
        Agreed... this is something I would consider buying, were it not for the extraordinary price. Now the three button version of it for about $150 is certainly interesting for a few applications. However, the countdown timer to take a preorder is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. The fact that it's a preorder means you're going to have to wait before they're even made. And that there's a countdown means that they're making you wait before you start waiting. If they're in the preorder phase, then just
    • Re:More details (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865) on Sunday May 20, 2007 @02:37AM (#19196467)
      The only detail that matters to me is that it's $1500 and it doesn't even come in a fucking ergo/wave format. I wouldn't pay $10 for a non-ergo keyboard - much less $1500. I don't care if it comes with a "summon the slave girls to come orally satisfy me" button -- if it ain't ergo, it ain't worth it. I spend way too much time at the keyboard to try and cram my hands into an unnatural straight-edge keyboard position.

      I probably wouldn't spend $1500 for it, anyway. But once it hit the $600 to $800, I absolutely would - as long as it was in a ergo/wave form.
  • *Yawn* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Giolon (1006069) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:10PM (#19194439)
    I was really excited about this keyboard back when they first announced it and they posited that it would cost approxmiately $100. Now that it's finally becoming a reality several years behind schedule, and is going to cost approximately $1500, I don't know how anybody can really still be looking foward to it.
    • Re:*Yawn* (Score:5, Funny)

      by networkBoy (774728) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:12PM (#19194451) Homepage Journal
      Oh, I'm looking forward to it. I'm not too sure I'll ever own one at $1500, but if they pave the way then knockoffs should be available within another decade.
      -nB
    • I agree. At $100 I really wanted one, but at $1500 it is going to have to come with a happy ending for me to get one.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      I was really excited about this keyboard back when they first announced it and they posited that it would cost approxmiately $100. Now that it's finally becoming a reality several years behind schedule, and is going to cost approximately $1500, I don't know how anybody can really still be looking foward to it.

      You must be dreaming, they claimed since the very beginning that it'll cost around the price of a high-end cellphone.
      • A cellphone, not a smartphone or a pocket PC type deal?

        Well, a "high end cellphone" costs from $49 (with contract!) to $499. This is 3x the price of a high-end cellphone.
    • by nurb432 (527695)
      Ummm no thanks unless it also has a built in nanoATX + bluetooth/wifi or something.
    • Re:*Yawn* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DAtkins (768457) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @09:55PM (#19195349) Homepage
      How is this modded insightful?

      The exciting thing is going to be if there are enough pre-orders for them to start fabrication. If they can stay in business passed this point, and OLED manufacturers start ramping up, it's only a matter of time before the price comes down. I remember when plasmas came out priced around $20000 for a 42" (if it was that big). Now you can get them for much less. We don't know how their planning on fabrication at this level. With such a small production schedule, it would suggest hand assembly. If they managed to sell out that production run, whats to stop them from licensing it to a foreign manufacturer? You know, like we do...
  • Wow... that's cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:11PM (#19194443)
    When I first saw the picture of it, I thought that all of the buttons had the icons/letters painted on... and I thought to myself dang... you know what would be cool? If each key had its own display...

    Then I kept reading. I will definitely be getting myself one of these!
    • by LBArrettAnderson (655246) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:13PM (#19194459)
      oops... I take that back... sorry... didn't see the price tag... maybe later.
    • by smbarbour (893880) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:15PM (#19194475)
      You know what else would be really cool? A "Rolling Stones" button! (3rd key down, 2nd column of icon keys, right below Firefox)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BrokenHalo (565198)
      Then I kept reading. I will definitely be getting myself one of these!

      I won't. I fail to understand the attraction of these dubious bells and whistles when the whole idea is that we shouldn't need to look at the keyboard when we use it...

      • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:59PM (#19194727) Homepage Journal

        we shouldn't need to look at the keyboard when we use it...

        You could use one of these [thinkgeek.com]

        • by Sparr0 (451780)
          Is it sad that I knew you were linking to the black keyboard without clicking on the link?
        • I fail to see how a keyboard with blank caps is worth $80... especially if you're NOT looking at it.

          • by Fred Ferrigno (122319) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @11:38PM (#19195829)
            Agreed. I have an IBM Model M which features keys that can be removed and switched around to accommodate different keymaps. Once my roommates decided to remap my keyboard to say "FUCK" on the home row. It was weeks before they broke down and finally told me to look at the keyboard.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by arth1 (260657)

            I fail to see how a keyboard with blank caps is worth $80... especially if you're NOT looking at it.

            1. It's on ThinkGeek, which usually adds a one-born-every-minute margin to all prices.
            2. It's backordered, which means that quite a few people most definitely found it worth $80.
            3. It's a clicky keyboard. The type that got replaced by the much cheaper to produce and shorter lasting rubber dome keyboards. Not only will it last a decade or more, but it provides tactile feedback. Many of us oldtimers who used the mech
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Achoi77 (669484)

            Isn't the 2nd version a buckle-spring keyboard? (you know, like the old school IBM keyboards with the extra 'clicky' sound) That would account for the price increase. Buckle-spring keyboards, although noisy and not too friendly in a business environment(mostly due to the noise), give off a very satisfying audible and tactile feel upon each keypress, unlike the more common membrane keyboards. Plus, buckle-spring keyboards do not wear out like membrane keyboards. I have a buckle-spring, and while it's a bit h

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mr_matticus (928346)
        You shouldn't need to look at the keyboard while TYPING.

        Keyboards are about far more than typing, though. Just think about games--I don't usually get too far into games anymore because I don't want to spend half an hour memorizing the keys. A game is supposed to be fun. If I can look down and see what each key does, I can start playing immediately. The keyboard could be switched out of text mode to allow me to eliminate on screen palettes and toolbars in Photoshop. It can show users what keys do in iTu
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AchiIIe (974900)
      Don't be so excited. How often do you look at the keyboard ?
      Each and every time you take your gaze off the monitor, off the code, your brain has to look at the keyboard. This is a little bit like saving a register on the stack doing an unrelated task and then loading the register back up again.

      In short, spillage will slow you down a bit, the best way to become more productive is to memorise the shortcuts and not have to look at the keyboard.

      I personally have and use the das keyboard [daskeyboard.com]. It's completely blank a
      • by arth1 (260657)
        I use a keyboard on a tray under the desk. I can't look at the keyboard without pulling it out. This improves my typing speed quite a bit, and at the same time allows me to sit closer to the desk, with the monitor further back, giving me ample room for paperwork and other essentials like coffee mugs. When I start typing, I feel around for the dents on the F and J keys, and then I'm all set.

        On most computer desks with trays, you have to lower the tray a bit for this to work comfortably, and adjust the cha
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by senatorpjt (709879)
        On the other hand, every APL [wikipedia.org] programmer will buy one of these.
  • A bit pricey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bubbl07 (777082) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:11PM (#19194447) Homepage
    At $1564 USD [theinquirer.net], the price is a bit steep for most of us, but I'm sure it'll find its niche.
    • by eclectro (227083)
      At $1564 USD, the price is a bit steep for most of us

      I'm in, as long as it comes with a free copy of Duke Nukem Forever.
    • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:16PM (#19194483)

      At $1564 USD, the price is a bit steep for most of us, but I'm sure it'll find its niche.


      At that price, I'd expect to get the Optimus *Prime* keyboard, and it better transform into the leader of the Autobots, too!

      Chris Mattern
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by John3 (85454)
      It will likely become a cool device for geeks to show their grandkids ten or twenty years from now. I predict the initial production run will be the only production run.

  • Advertising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:27PM (#19194525) Homepage

    This isn't a story. This is an ad.

    If it's a real, successful product, it will be available tomorrow, the next day, probably next week, and at a lower price in a few months. If not, well...

    • If you are a software developer, the latest release of Perl 7.8 Extreme! might be significant to you. For hardware engineers, this is pretty darn cool.
    • Re:Advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @10:49PM (#19195617)

      This isn't a story. This is an ad.
      Whether or not it is an advertisement does not preclude it from being a story. The first keyboard with fully software remappable symbols on each and every key is absolutely news for nerds.
  • I'm in. (Score:2, Funny)

    by hejog (816106) *
    I think i'll preorder one -- I spent tons of time in photoshop / FCP / games / etc and having one keyboard rather than *looks* four dangling off my wall will be a life saver.

    and I'm sure chicks will dig it!

  • by commlinx (1068272) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:42PM (#19194603) Journal
    Rather than having every key with an in-built display what would be more practical is leaving the alphanumeric keys as standard and just having the displays on the left block of special function keys and F1-F15. Short of multiple users who want to swap between QWERTY, Dvorak and other languages I can't think of any reason re-programming the standard keys is useful and it must add stacks to the cost. I'd go for one at $200 odd if when I switched applications I could replace the function keys with alternative icons and alternative keystroke codes. No wonder the unit cost is so high though - they don't seem to be planning to manufacture many units so it seems to be aimed at people with a surplus of cash.
    • by shird (566377)
      Well I suspect it will be programmable. Imagine when holding ctrl and seeing the 'S' become 'Save', the 'V' become 'Paste' etc.

      Also, within vi/vim, depending on whether you are in command or input mode, the 'hjkl' keys could be arrow keys (as well as appropriate symbols etc for the other keys).

      Of course.. all this assumes you actually look at your keyboard while using it. Strange that the das keyboard [daskeyboard.com] has not markings on its keys at all, and is proud of it. There is some logic to it.. I suspect having
    • by nbert (785663)
      if it would cost just a 100th it would be really cool for people with non qwerty layouts, because it actually happens quite often that one has to type qwerty on a keyboard with different labels.

      For me it's usually not so bad, because I touch type and my layout is qwertz, which isn't that different (I actually prefer qwerty, but I need 4 letters which don't exist on qwerty). If I install an OS which I haven't localized yet it gets quite annoying finding special keys, which are not that common (e.g. []|{}).
    • by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @08:32PM (#19194913)

      Short of multiple users who want to swap between QWERTY, Dvorak and other languages I can't think of any reason re-programming the standard keys is useful and it must add stacks to the cost.

      Different keyboard modes have a much wider scope than layouts and languages. It's for displaying the right icons for when you are playing Quake, for displaying the effects of shortcuts when you are in Photoshop, for displaying the right functions when you switch modes in vi, for showing the right characters when you hold down Alt Gr when you want curly quotes, em dashes, etc.

      I think a keyboard like this could be very useful even to computer novices — perhaps especially to computer novices. I've been using computers for decades, and I haven't memorised a fraction of the keyboard shortcuts I could find useful. It would be a lot easier for me if I could hold down Ctrl and look at my keyboard to see the right key to press. If a power user like me can't learn all the shortcuts, how could a newbie?

      The real problem is that they went all out for the full-colour display, the animation, the integrated USB mass storage, etc, when you can get 99% of the value of this thing with a monochrome, high-latency, no-hard-drive version for a fraction of the cost. There's no way I'd pay this much for a keyboard, but I'd certainly jump at the chance if somebody were offering the cheaper version I describe. I've heard of various proof-of-concepts, but nothing for sale to end-users outside of the USA.

    • Short of multiple users who want to swap between QWERTY, Dvorak and other languages I can't think of any reason re-programming the standard keys is useful and it must add stacks to the cost.

      Might work for you, but I don't think I'm alone in making keyboard purchases based on the placement of those keys you're referring to as standard. It's been too many years to bother counting when some semblance of standard was replaced by design considerations which, in turn were based mostly on aesthetic considerations
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      Rather than having every key with an in-built display what would be more practical is leaving the alphanumeric keys as standard and just having the displays on the left block of special function keys and F1-F15. Short of multiple users who want to swap between QWERTY, Dvorak and other languages I can't think of any reason re-programming the standard keys is useful and it must add stacks to the cost. I'd go for one at $200 odd if when I switched applications I could replace the function keys with alternative
    • If you wanted fewer fancy keys you could always get the mini version [artlebedev.com]...

    • I'm sure someone else has already pointed this out, but this could be great for people that use multiple pro audio/video/graphic editing apps. Well designed pro apps (Pro Tools, Final Cut, Aperture, Photoshop, etc.) all have key commands on every key of the keyboard, sometimes multiples either triggered via modifier keys, some with multiple key presses. For people that are newer to the environments, or switch between them constantly, having icons or specialized symbols available would be a great boon.

      I'm
  • Great, as soon as I've figured out how to stop my wife/kids dropping food crumbs/coffee into it I'll order this funky new keyboard. Previously not been too bothered about chucking an old one and replacing with a new one for this reason. So as much as I'd love to own something so geek-attractingly cool, I'll have to pass this time...
  • by pytheron (443963) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:47PM (#19194631) Homepage
    Imagine some unscrupulous person coding something that updates your keyboard to bombard you with direct marketing, using the keys like a limited dot matrix.. or indeed, if the keys mapped fast enough, you could create cool music pulse effects etc. I must admit, I'd like on of these.
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:50PM (#19194647)
    Then the rumors of it being bundled with Duke Nuke em Forever aren't true? Or are they taking preorders for Duke as well?
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:53PM (#19194673)
    I'm so pleased about this advance warning, giving me a chance to cogitate on the early stages of beginning to anticipate the eventual opening moments of the new dawn of an opportunity to gear up for a period when, soon, there will be a new, imminent development foreshadowing the approaching onset of the start of my chance to, on a first-come, first-served basis, pre-order this thing.
  • For 1500, I'd want a multitouch [wikipedia.org] interface. Screw the keyboard. Everything should be a key.
  • Good Ol' Dependable (Score:3, Informative)

    by byronne (47527) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:55PM (#19194687) Homepage
    Maybe I'll be classified as a Luddite for this, but I really love using my IBM Model M. Best keyboard ever in tactile response and sheer typeability (if that's a word). I've been collecting backups off eBay even though I know you can throw one off a building and still plug it in with no worries. Simple, robust and failure-proof, aside from the sometimes flaky cables, I just love that it's a keyboard with steel in it.
    Besides, shortcut keys are for the lazy folk, IMHO.

  • by belgar (254293) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:58PM (#19194717) Homepage
    ....does Slashdot act as the marketing arm of Lebedev? The number of pre-annouce, pre-production, pre-order shite having to do with this marginally cool keyboard is wee-todd-did.
  • What I want (Score:3, Interesting)

    by danimrich (584138) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @07:59PM (#19194725) Homepage Journal
    What I want is a USB Keyboard extension that is maybe twice as large as the number pad and consists of buttons that can be labelled individually. Then I'd like to be able to assign a sequence of key presses/characters to every one of these keys.

    I want to be able to press, for example, a key that's labelled instead of typing /mu. I don't need no fancy displays, I just want more keys!
    • something kind of like this?

      DX1 Input System [thinkgeek.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by am 2k (217885)

      The X-keys Professional [piengineering.com] is one of those. You can insert little printed pieces of paper for the key caps, and the software allows you to program macros for every key. There are other models available on that page, too.

      (No, I'm in no way affiliated with them, I don't even own one myself.)

      • by seebs (15766)
        I do own one of their older models, and I like it. The company is friendly, too; when I wanted docs on the USB protocol it uses for defining macros, they sent them.
  • The summary does not include a link to anything telling me what this keyboard is. There's some countdown timer, and a picture of a keyboard--wow. I followed several links under the "Related Links" and burrowed two or three links deep, and I still couldn't find a description of this thing (some links were dead.) The blog does not have a description of what this keyboard is. In short this just looks like a keyboard--who cares? Ooh, pre-orders in hours--I can't wait!
  • I'd rather spend my money on one of these keyboards [linuxcentral.com], and then get a touch screen lcd [logicsupply.com]
    Then you could make a huge custom touch pad that also had software buttons for whatever you wanted.
    Disclaimer: this is prior art =P
  • by bobsalt (575905) on Saturday May 19, 2007 @08:05PM (#19194767)
    an "any key"???
  • I've heard they're good quality: Deck keyboards [deckkeyboards.com].
  • Does this work in linux??
    • by cos(x) (677938)

      Does this work in linux??

      Most likely - no. Their current three button keyboard is Windows only with a Mac driver currently in development. It's all closed source as well. This is stupid of course as their innovation is in the hardware design, not the driver code, but it probably will take someone to reverse engineer the USB packets used by this thing before Linux support becomes available.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Considering it doesn't exist, I'm going to go out on a limb and say... no.

      It also doesn't work on Windows or OS X.
    • Re:Linux (Score:4, Informative)

      by the_greywolf (311406) on Sunday May 20, 2007 @01:49AM (#19196321) Homepage

      Given that the Optimus Three has an alpha driver available, [ookoo.org] I'd say it's reasonable to guess that the full keyboard will have support very, very quickly; and based on some of the things they say about all of their input devices (open standards and all that), and given that they seem to fully approve of the Linux driver (with a link to it from their own website [artlebedev.com]), the new keyboard's driver will probably be based on the existing Optimus driver.

  • New Amiga hardware coming soon!!! Screaming fast PPC chips! Just as fast (or faster) than anything from Apple!!
    Coming soon! Lookit - here's a prototype board (photo)..
    Be ready for Amiga OS 4 - NOW!!

    There are some things that you can rely on in this world. One of them is the protracted development period for specialized hardware/software.
    Sometimes vapor does condense..
  • There are only a few people that are going to want to buy this. Uber-rich geeks wanting a new flashy keyboard, some snobs and yuppies, movie sets and producers for more realistic sci-fi, hi-tech dentists and doctors that need a keyboard with specialized buttons at the operating table and finally, DJ's, VJ's in clubs and music studios that run their sets on computers.

    Right now all the professionals among those people either have to buy a specialized keyboard or input device or stick little tabs on or above t
    • Good thing, too -- according to the page, they're only planning on making about 400 of them per month anyway.

  • I went to the website and have read through the Slashdot comments and still can't figure why this keyboard is supposed to be so great. Does it scratch your balls when you're typing an email? Does it protect from terrorism? Will it sing me a song so I can fall asleep at night? Or pour me a drink whenever I crave a martini?
  • Wholy crap, the price is just numbing. And probably actually justified by the tech that had to go into it.

    Why couldn't they do something simpler? Like an LCD panel under the keyboard, and each key just spies down on a portion of the panel, maybe with some optics to make it look nice and focused, etc.. (I call patents!) Seems a lot more sense than having a separate OLED on every single key, which is probably what led to the outrageous price of this beast.

    Given the beating most keyboards take, I'm assured
    • Re:Why not... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by oaklybonn (600250) on Sunday May 20, 2007 @12:27AM (#19196057)
      I think what everyone fails to grasp here is that this is a design studio, not a chinese keyboard factory. These folks do industrial design for a living and really couldn't care less about whether they sell 100 or 10k of these. At the limited runs they're making (400 this year was it?) I guarantee that they're barely breaking even at that price. Custom tooling is expensive, even in .ru. Frankly, I'll predict that in 10 years, reconfigurable keyboards will be the norm, and will be reasonably priced. It'll just take Apple to license their patents and place an order for 105,000,000 OLED keys... (Since I'm sure Dell won't be able to get the drivers right :-P)
  • I have yet to ever own a keyboard that lasted me more than five years. Most last me two.
    • Get yourself an IBM Model M or a Cherry G-80 3000, seriously. These things last. I spilt coffee in the Cherry the other week, it just kept on trucking thanks to the internal design.
      • by mark-t (151149)
        I had one of the IBM ones... my first keyboard, and easily the best one I ever had. It was also the only keyboard I ever had that had a latex membrane cover that protected the keyboard from spills, etc. It held up for about five years before the space bar stopped working reliably.
  • is that with a 2 year plan or not?
    as they said this will cost less then a good cell phone.
    phones at that price are about the same as the i-phone with a forced in to a 2 year $40 a month data + voice plan.
  • by Tribbin (565963)
    It would be cool to have the buttons go blue, with in the middle the white letters on your keyboard.
  • One of the reasons I was originally interested in this product is that I wanted a relatively flat keyboard that had a good typing feel to it while requiring minimal key impact. While I love my Model Ms, I'm finding the amount of wear and tear on my hands typing on it leaves behind exceeds my tolerance nowadays.

    Unfortunately for Optimus, they've now taken so long that I have a solution I'm perfectly happy with that I'm already typing on. I picked up a Logitech diNovo Edge [logitech.com] keyboard recently. Great typing f

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