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Hardware Technology

Update on the Optimus Keyboard 579

paulius_g writes "It seems that Art Lebedev has reposnded to the Slashdotting that occured to their page about the ' Optimus Keyboard'. They have included a FAQ at the middle-right of the page stating some of the questions that Slashdotters were wondering. A few interestign ones were ' It will be real', 'We hope it will be released in 2006', 'It will cost less than a good mobile phone', 'It will be OS-independent', and finally 'It will most likely use OLED technology (e-paper is sooo slow)'. They've also included some common answers abotu Russia and it seems that they are as well searching OEMs (From the FAQ: OEM will be possible (why not?), Contact us for hi-res images, or interview inquires). It will be very interesting to see how this technological marvel will be created. Sign me up! I'll be ordering one in 2006."
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Update on the Optimus Keyboard

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  • by RamboIII ( 899894 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:49AM (#13094267)
    The FAQ:

    Frequently Answered Answers about the Optimus keyboard
    It's in initial stage of production
    We hope it will be released in 2006
    It will cost less than a good mobile phone
    It will be real
    It will be OS-independent (at least it can
    work in some default state with any OS)
    It will support any language or layout
    Moscow is the capital of Russia
    Each key could be programmed to produce any sequence
    It will be an open-source keyboard, SDK will be available
    Some day it will be split ('ergonomic')
    It will most likely use OLED technology (e-paper is sooo slow)
    Our studio is located two blocks from the Kremlin
    It will feature a key-saver
    Keys will use animation when needed
    It has numeric keypad because we love it
    There's no snow in Moscow during Summer
    It will be available worldwide (why not?)
    OEM will be possible (why not?)
    Contact us for hi-res images, or interview inquires

    We want to thank everyone for the support. Stay tuned for our next projects

  • by Mwongozi ( 176765 ) <slashthree@davi[ ... g ['dgl' in gap]> on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:50AM (#13094287) Homepage


    From TFA: "Some day it will be split ('ergonomic')"

  • Unanswered Questions (Score:5, Informative)

    by TPIRman ( 142895 ) * on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:52AM (#13094322)
    This keyboard looks like a great way to easily explore the capabilities of powerful apps especially for beginner users. But the 10-key area on the left for application, while it looks pretty sharp, worries me.

    Would this keyboard require you to switch modes manually? Power users might jump between apps a lot when putting together, say, a music video in Final Cut or a pamphlet in InDesign. Am I going to have to hit the appropriate key every time I switch apps? This could get drudgerous pretty quickly.

    Then again, someone who has their workflow down likely doesn't need OLEDs to remind them of keyboard shortcuts, so my complaint might be mootwrong target market. It still seems that the board would be more of a "killer app" type of thing if it were context-sensitive and didn't require prompting from the user.
  • That is one (Score:2, Informative)

    by confused one ( 671304 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:59AM (#13094432)
    totally awsome, cool, Excellent keyboard. Let us know as soon as it's available. I want one.

    not quite the way I envisioned a similar concept once, but better, definitely better.

  • by cybersaga ( 451046 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:00PM (#13094445) Homepage
    Am I going to have to hit the appropriate key every time I switch apps?

    You would use the appropriate key to switch apps.
  • by bynary ( 827120 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:12PM (#13094596) Homepage
    Uh...not only is it non-QWERTY, it's layout independent.

    I guess I don't understand your logic. The uses for this keyboard are practically endless. Think about the academic applications. For instance, my dad is currently working on his doctorate in Septuagint [] studies. He could click a button and instantly switch his keyboard over to Koine Greek and back to English instead of having to remember what English letters are mapped to which Greek letters.

    Let's say you use Photoshop. You could eliminate all of the letter keys and map all your keys to Photoshop functions. It basically eliminates the need for "specialty" keyboards. Plus it has the "neato" factor with animated hotkeys.

    Think outside the QWERTY.
  • by Rob.Mathers ( 527086 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:15PM (#13094638) Homepage
    After my old ergo died (a fairly generic one I picked up cheaply, but was great and lasted for years), I started searching for a replacement (I didn't want an MS keyboard, mostly because of the dumb function key crap they have now), and found this: ?Merchant_Id=&Section_Id=100&pcount=&Product_Id=12 3503 []
  • Re:e-paper slow? (Score:3, Informative)

    by metachor ( 634304 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:17PM (#13094667)
    From the FAQ:

    "Keys will use animation when needed "
  • Re:Power Consumption (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:22PM (#13094706)
    In an interview [] the designer says "possibly it will have an external power supply". Like I don't have enough power blocks and cables already.

    He also says he can't see it costing less than $200-$300.

  • by sEEKz ( 113902 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:22PM (#13094717) Homepage
    Curious to know what OLED technology is, i went over to Wikipedia [] and saw there where some disadvanteges with this technology:

    Quoted from Wikipedia []:

    The biggest technical problem left to overcome now is lifetime. Red and green OLED elements already have life-times of well over 20,000 hours but blue OLED life-times lag significantly behind at 1,000 hours.

    According to Kodak, which is developing small molecule OLED, lifetime problems are not so significant for that type of OLED, mainly as a result of doping the base material of the OLEDs, which, they claim, has led to much better device performance both electrically and optically. Universal Display for example have produced a blue OLED that has a lifetime of 10,000 hours.

    There are still a number of problems to overcome though, and one of these is intrusion of water into displays which damages and destroys the organics, as well as outcoupling, which can result in the loss of much of the light in waveguided modes within the substrates.

    In May 2005 Cambridge Display Technology announced a blue OLED with a lifetime of over 100,000 hours. Commercial development of the technology is also hampered by intellectual property issues since even the basics of OLED technology is heavily patented by Kodak and other firms, requiring outside research teams to acquire a license.
  • Re:Seems expensive (Score:4, Informative)

    by MrNonchalant ( 767683 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:22PM (#13094720)
    In an interview linked to by Gizmodo ( []) he said $200 is very optimistic and $300 is just optimistic. If it had enough application support I might buy it.
  • by Fulkkari ( 603331 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @01:50PM (#13095733)
    What's up with the extra 2 keys on the home row between JKL; and Enter?

    As others here pointed out, this keyboard is to be compatible with international keyboards. Comparing to a Finnish keyboard there is one extra key after JKLÖÄ' and two on the row above after OPÅ + umlaut. But I agree that the Enter-key is a problem. Comparing with my keyboard it has moved one row down and quite a bit to the right in the place where right shift should be, which isn't good. Also, the left shift should be a small one because there is a key missing there! In Finnish layout there is <-key between left shift and Z-key, which is also used to type >-key. On PC keyboards you produce also the |-key, which could make piping UNIX commands difficult.

    The numpad and arrows are nice if you play games + the sound control and eject button for Macs are a very nice to have. Nevertheless I would not have anything against a "light" version of the keyboard (or country-specific models for that matter). The left row of keys should however be removed.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."