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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 turtled ( 845180 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:47AM (#13094238)
    'It will cost less than a good mobile phone'

    I have gotten a good one, and it was free. Then there are the phones that cost upwards of $250~$300

    This keyboard will be great for mapping keys for games =)
  • by HerculesMO ( 693085 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:48AM (#13094256)
    Too bad it's not available in 'ergonomic' styles :\

    I love my MS ergo keyboard.
  • by pegr ( 46683 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:50AM (#13094275) Homepage Journal
    Don't get me wrong, I like the looks of this keyboard as much as anyone else, but...

    If there's one thing I hate worse than vaporware, it's hype. Show me, don't tell me.
  • Oh come on people (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:50AM (#13094295)
    Yes, yes, I agree, it's very pretty, but how many times do you actually look at your keyboard? The whole point of keys is that they are under your fingers. This is a gimmic, with absolutely no use.
  • Seems expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfloy ( 899187 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:51AM (#13094300) Homepage
    The idea that it costs as much as a good mobile phone is vague. Do they mean $300 models or $800 high tech top-of-the-line phones? A keyboard would have to be absolutely revolutionary, fantastic and wonderful for me to spend $300, let alone $800. Well, only time will tell.
  • by whyde ( 123448 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:56AM (#13094373)
    They say: "Enter" key is big in size and nearly square in form.

    I say: It had better be, since it is in a completely different zipcode from the home row keys. What's up with the extra 2 keys on the home row between JKL; and Enter? It's impossible to hit their Enter key without moving your right hand off the home row.

    Industrial designers are like Architects: they design something idiotic, then let an Engineer figure out how to make it work in a useful way.

    If all keys are visually remappable, then they really need fewer keys. I'm still disappointed at all the junk (arrow cluster, numeric pad) on the right side of the home row between me and my mouse.

    If this came in a "Happy Hacker" footprint, then they may get my attention. Right now, it's too many colorful, expensive, redundant, unnecessary buttons.

    What I've found pleasant in the meantime is a laptop-style keyboard with a marble-mouse beside it. From the mouse, I can reach the PgUp/PgDn keys on the small-footprint keyboard with my thumb, like getting two extra buttons for free.

  • Re:Seems expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xzzy ( 111297 ) <sether AT tru7h DOT org> on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:07PM (#13094529) Homepage
    I've never understood why people are unwilling to shell out money for a good keyboard, but will cheerfully plop down money for the hottest CPU or latest video card. I'm not saying the OP in specific is this type of person, it's just something that gets said a lot, 'no way am I paying more than $20 for my keyboard'.

    Granted, I ain't paying $300 for a keyboard either, but I did pay about $100 for my buckling spring keyboard.

    The keyboard is still the primary input device for a majority of computing tasks, to me logic would suggest spending as much on it as you can afford. They don't become obsolete, either. Get a good keyboard and it might even outlast you. ;)
  • by rasty ( 212471 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:09PM (#13094566) Homepage
    Ah yes!

    And this keyboard will also allow people to try out some "smarter" layouts kile Dvorak allowing them to go back if they don't like it, or use it only for like one hour a day for practice, then revert to QWERTY or whatever you're using!

    I really look forward to it.. or maybe a lower-cost version in 1 or 2 years anyway!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:29PM (#13094798)
    No! Here's why. Where the keyboard behaves as a fixed input device, normally, I quite agree.

    When you have VERY complicated applications - let me give for example programming a 8 FM oscilator, formant wavefunction synthesiser like the Ymaha FS1r, what you need is an adaptable input device. Most peeps in serious studious already have a controllerboard of some kind like a doppfer or something with 16 reassignable continuous controllers. A keyboard like this fits right into that sort of setup. My first task would be program a custom mute board for every instrumnent I edit in Logic. Its very empowering in situations beyond typical use. Music is just one example.
  • by aftk2 ( 556992 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:38PM (#13094917) Homepage Journal
    Heh, apparently you missed the days of those cardboard layouts that went over keyboards. I distinctly remember one back when we had a PS/2, that showed Wordperfect 3.x's (I think) may keyboard commands. Granted, this isn't as important now, but it'd still be interesting, if for no other reason than it'll lead to more than a few "Oh! I didn't know you could do that by pressing that, in Photoshop."
  • by apankrat ( 314147 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @01:13PM (#13095273) Homepage
    Then there are the phones that cost upwards of $250~$300

    These are NOT what is considered a 'good mobile
    phone' in Russia. Try from $500 and up. Way up.
  • by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @01:14PM (#13095288)
    While I hope everything they speak of makes it in to this package (i mean, damn, it's a sweet idea!), things here should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Why? Because their team so far only consists of concept designers, and has no engineers. So, it's very likely that what they say, and what is actually feasable in the end may differ greatly.

    Here's to hoping that my words are just paranoid ramblings :)
  • shaddup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by odigity ( 266563 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @01:17PM (#13095320)
    If there's one thing I hate worse than vaporware, it's hype. Show me, don't tell me.

    Quit your bitching. They didn't come to us, we linked to them, slashdotted their site, and posted tons of questions about them. They were cool enough to take the time to respond to them, and the answers were somewhat informative - in other words, not just marketing babble (not surprising, since they're inventors, not marketers).

    I like to know what might be coming down the pipe, even if it never materializes. *Especially* if it never materializes, because then at least they contributed to the human idea pool, which might inspire others to build the same or related products.

    Besides, its not like these guys don't have a track record of delivering.
  • Re:MOD UP! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @02:16PM (#13095986)
    "Awesome soviet russia joke"

    There is no such thing.
  • Re:Seems expensive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlogPope ( 886961 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @04:07PM (#13097340)
    An expensive keyboard doesn't typically provide the same value as "the hottest CPU or latest video card".

    I know several journalists and other professional writers who would argue that. All the latest video card does is display my manuscript, so long as it can display the resolution I want, they are all the same.

    A good keyboard means the codes get translated correctly at high typing speeds, gives the feedback the user needs to maintain those speeds, and lowers stress on the fingers enabling them to type longer more comfortably. Searching for two dropped letters in a thousand word essay can quickly eat up the $$$ delta between a cheap and expensive keyboard. Most coders feel the same way.

  • by Afrosheen ( 42464 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @04:48PM (#13097744)
    Now that you mention Macs, I can imagine Apple pulling an OEM coup de gras with something like this. Their keyboard is very similar to this one, and to have pictures on the keys? Ownage.

    All it needs is Bluetooth and Apple can once again reap the benefits of premium, sexy hardware.
  • Re:Seems expensive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tim Browse ( 9263 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @05:13PM (#13097973)
    An expensive keyboard doesn't typically provide the same value as "the hottest CPU or latest video card".

    About ten years ago (or thereabouts) I started to get slight pains in my wrists from typing (I'm a professional programmer). It worried me, and at the time, Microsoft had just launched their ergonomic keyboard. At 100ukp, it was expensive, but I liked the sound of the idea, and thought it might help, and considered my hands were probably worth it.

    After about 2 weeks, the pain was completely gone. Of course, you can argue (as with Qwerty to Dvorak change) that it was just because I was using different habits/muscles. However, since then, I've always used Microsoft ergonomic keyboards (along with a few friends, I've built up a small stockpile for when Microsoft totally fuck up the keyboard layout and stop selling decent keyboards []), and the pain has never come back.

    I'd say saving me from pain/RSI/compulsory career change is pretty good value. Certainly better than being able to run Half Life 2 at a slightly higher resolution, anyway.

    I have similar views on mice - I generally buy good ergonomic mice, and am prepared to spend more than 15ukp on them, unlike some people. It just seems worth it for something I'm going to use for 8 hours a day.

    However, I have no doubt that this keyboard will suck big time from an ergonomics point of view (even though they're just renders, they look nasty - flat, limited key travel, not split, etc) so I'd have to agree that this is really a gimmick and doesn't provide "a $300 value" as they say these days. They might make it a good ergonomic keyboard, but it seems unlikely.

    A good keyboard can provide good value, but I don't see it in this one yet. It's a nice feature, and I can think of lots of nice uses for such a keyboard, but for $300? No.

    But in general, most people who use computers a lot should spend more than they do on keyboards, mice and chairs. (And for Cliff's sake, stop using the laptop's built-in keyboard!)

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley