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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 Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:51AM (#13094301)
    I think it would be incredibly badass if, when you press down on the shift key, the lowercase letters change to capital letters, and the numbers change to special characters, etc.

    Also, when you hold control, the word 'copy' appears on the C-key, 'paste' on the V-key, etc.

    That would rock.
  • This calls for... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alcoyotl ( 157542 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:52AM (#13094308) Homepage Journal
    Let's open an "Ask Slashdot" topic named : best programmable keyboard. Any ideas (ergodex, POS keyboards, XKeys...) ?
  • Power Consumption (Score:3, Interesting)

    by d3m057h3n35 ( 695460 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:53AM (#13094334)
    How much power would this thing draw (and can we even guess at that accurately)? Would it need to be plugged in to its own outlet, or would power over USB be enough?
  • If I spill my drink (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZeroExistenZ ( 721849 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:56AM (#13094377)

    Will they keyboard remain operational with the occasional spill? I can imgine these displays to be very sensitive to such a thing.

    What about smoke, food, pubes, and other things that one might encounter in the average robust keyboard?

  • e-paper slow? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TCM ( 130219 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:58AM (#13094405)
    Just how slow is it? It's not like you'd be running animations on the keyboard, although that would increase the coolness factor.

    Most of the time, though, you would have a single update in seconds instead of several updates per second.
  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:00PM (#13094452) Homepage Journal
    Not only power concerns, but the first thing I thought when I saw those keys is, "That's not going to clean up very well." And we thought grimy keys were noticible now, just wait until you actually have to see the lettering on them to be sure you're pressing the right thing...
  • by nkh ( 750837 ) <> on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:03PM (#13094484) Journal
    It will be an open-source keyboard, SDK will be available
    Keys will use animation when needed

    SDK + animation = mini games on your keyboard! And with the layout for different languages, I really hope this thing doesn't get as vapotware as the Phantom gaming console.
  • by pezpunk ( 205653 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:09PM (#13094555) Homepage
    open source? "key saver" functionality? sweeeeet.

    you know they could write some very simple games for this thing, that would be really neat ... imagine a whack-a-mole type game, where all your keys are blank, and one will light up with some mole image or whatever, and you have to hit that key before it changes. the possibilities are endless.
  • Re:give me a break (Score:2, Interesting)

    by paulius_g ( 808556 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:11PM (#13094580) Homepage
    It's not quite advertising. It's showing new technology.

    If OLED keyboards would be available everywhere, it wouldn't be on Slashdot.
  • Apple... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by avalys ( 221114 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:11PM (#13094583)
    I bet Apple will snap this up, at least as an option on some of their models. Hell, it already looks like Apple designed it, the style is the same.

    Hopefully it will be wireless.

    Personally, I'd want one of these just for the cool factor. And the opportunity to finally try Dvorak.
  • by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:20PM (#13094692)
    imagine a whack-a-mole type game, where all your keys are blank, and one will light up with some mole image or whatever, and you have to hit that key before it changes. the possibilities are endless.

    Good point. For kids this could be really useful, educational etc. Could teach typing, memory (the match the symbols game), and a whole other load of stuff.

    However. Do you want your kids playing wack-a-mole with your expensive OED keyboard? Mine will be ALL mine!!

  • by Zackbass ( 457384 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @12:43PM (#13094975)
    Nice, that's exactly what I was thinking when I saw it. Slashdot and Rush, the perfect combination.
  • by GuidoW ( 844172 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @01:05PM (#13095195)
    I think one of the selling points is that the moment you press a modifier key (Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Meta, or a combination) all of the keys will immediately change their appearance to reflect their function with said modifier pressed. This should better happen in less than a second. (Less than 0.3 seconds would be better, but then again, if you type this fast, you probably won't need to look at the key anyway.)
  • by jasongetsdown ( 890117 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @01:38PM (#13095604)
    Industrial designers are like Architects: they design something idiotic, then let an Engineer figure out how to make it work in a useful way.

    whoa whoa whoa buddy. Back up a bit. Not to get defensive here, but this is a totally falacious statement. Its regrettable that the current high profile architects are to some extent rediculous devotees to the "big blob" school of arch, but I assure you thats not how we operate on the whole. Architects, like all designers, are trained to identify a need and conceptualize and useful way to fill that void. (look instead at MVRDV, Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron, or Diller Scoffidio and Renfro)

    This keyboard fills a void magnificently well and throws in the kind of visual verve that makes people pay attention. In fact, like many great designs, it fills a void we didn't really think of as a void until we saw it. This will be the ipod of keyboards when it comes out at that just-expensive-enough pricepoint.

    Engineers "make is work in a useful way" because thats their job. Thats what engineers do. They take a problem and attack it analytically. They break it down into do-able pieces and then build it back up. Without the designer thinking creatively from the top-down and the engineer coming at it analytically from the bottom up things like ipods and nikes and ray-bans and ferraris and optimus keyboards would not be possible.

    Leave it to the engineer and you get beige box, suburban office park, opressively uniform ugliness (but its cheap). Leave it to the architect/designer and you get uncomfortable "modern" furniture, difficult to use products, wacky, not-in-my-backyard buildings whose maintenance costs are through the roof.

    Cooperate and beautiful things emerge (google maps!).

  • by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @04:17PM (#13097453)
    Isn't the point of learning to type not to look at the keys anymore?

    How many keyboards can force you to do that, by blanking the keys for you? They could also do exercises, e.g. you have to hit the one that flashes, then return to the home row, improving your acuracy. Only obvious problem I can see is that the wrist blocks your view of most of the keyboard when you are in the home row!

  • Re:Seems expensive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Isaac-Lew ( 623 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @07:04PM (#13098902)
    There are such things as keyboard covers, you know. See here [] - I'm surprised no one's mentioned them yet.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.