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Input Devices Entertainment Games

Phantom Lapboard May Actually Ship 95

notthatwillsmith writes "Despite never actually releasing the Phantom console, it looks like Phantom Entertainment (the company formerly known as Infinium Labs) may actually ship its sofa-friendly mouse/keyboard combo controller, the Lapboard, sometime this decade. The Lapboard is currently scheduled for a mid-June release at a price of $130, with the included laser mouse." We've been mulling over the much delayed Phantom console for years.
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Phantom Lapboard May Actually Ship

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  • Manditory (Score:5, Funny)

    by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @06:56PM (#23209598)
    Rumour has it it's perfect for playing Duke Nukem Forever with.
  • $130? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drinking Bleach ( 975757 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @07:00PM (#23209634)
    Quite honestly, I don't see myself ever considering to buy this. For $20, I can buy: 1) a normal keyboard (not a laptop style one), 2) a mouse, and 3) a small piece of plywood to put both on my lap.
    • Re:$130? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by somersault ( 912633 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @07:17PM (#23209754) Homepage Journal
      That's fine if it's what you want (and personally I'm happy with wired stuff in my lounge too, though the place is a right tip..), but this looks to be a very neat and elegant solution. I was expecting a touchpad or mini-joystick for the mouse, but being able to have full mouse motion in such a compact space is an idea I will seriously consider if it turns out that any FPSes I get for the PS3 support keyboard and mouse for input - I'm reaaaaally hoping that GTA IV will too :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Arivia ( 783328 )
        Unreal Tournament 3 for PS3 already does.
      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        I could buy materials from a lumber yard and fabric shop and create a neat and elegant solution for less than $130 (keyboard and mouse included).

        Hell, for $70 more you can just buy a whole laptop.

        • That also takes up time(=money if you value your time at all), and will end up with a not-quite-as-good solution of course. I wouldn't want to regularly use a laptop that cost that much, and afaik, laptops don't make great wireless games controllers
    • Re:$130? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @08:57PM (#23210418)
      I wouldn't buy the thing even if it were a good product and reasonably priced, because of the
      CONDUCT of the company selling it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by philspear ( 1142299 )
        Good point. Investors gave them a lot more than 130 and got nothing in return, how do we know the same won't happen here?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
      It looks nice, but personally, I always thought a trackball was much better suited to working on the couch. I use a trackball all the time, and actually find it much better than a mouse, even for games. It has many advantages. This about a mouse where you never run off the side of the desk, and that you never have to reposition. Think about a mouse that can work perfectly well when you only have a 3x6 inch area in which to operate it.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        If you want to compare, you could do the same with a touchpad in even less space.

        With a trackball, you still have to reposition your finger if you hit the edge. There is a reason that all of the great (tournament level) game players use mice. It's because mice provide the most precise control for gaming.
        • I guess it's just a matter of personal preference, but I've always found the trackball to give much more precise control. Personally, my fingers are much better at precise small movements than my arm or wrist. Maybe the reason that they use a mouse, is because they have always used a mouse, and retraining on something else would be too much. But since there aren't a large number of people growing up and learning on trackballs, I think it's hard to draw a fair comparison.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I recommend you cut a hole in the bottom lap portion, so you'll still have "access".

  • No numpad?! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MagdJTK ( 1275470 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @07:03PM (#23209658)

    And I had such high hopes for playing NetHack on my 40'' HDTV!

    And before you tell me to change my settings... erm... I do a lot of kicking?

    • by Zarel ( 900479 )

      And I had such high hopes for playing NetHack on my 40'' HDTV!

      And before you tell me to change my settings... erm... I do a lot of kicking?

      M-D (Alt-D on Windows) is the kick command when the movement keys are mapped to hjklyubn. (For those of you unfamiliar with NetHack, the normal kick command is k.)
  • This thing sounds like one of those xtreme boards that you would buy at the Sharper Image or something equally useless.
  • by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @07:05PM (#23209666)
    Submitted by whereisphantom on Fri, 2008-04-25 23:36.

    I'm one of the inventors and I haven't even seen one of this round of prototypes yet.

    By publishing this review you are aiding PHEI in their scheme to drive up share price, raise funds, finish development and ship. They are now in a Tinkerbelle mode of product dev.; if you believe hard enough they might come back to life.

    The only member of the product team remaining left a few months ago. PHEI has walked away from the lapboard patents. The share price, the sole mode to pay employees and vendors is now so low it's listed with scientific notation. (no joke)

    The lapboard is cool, but these guys are extremely unlikely to ever finish and ship. My only hope is that since the IP is completely unprotected, that someone else will take the idea and run with it. Logitech, anyone?!

    So, why are we giving publicity to a sham corporation? Even if you dont believe the above text, look how they handled the "phantom". Its all smoke and mirrors after that.
    • by ItsColdOverHere ( 928704 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @07:35PM (#23209876)

      The only member of the product team remaining left a few months ago. PHEI has walked away from the lapboard patents. The share price, the sole mode to pay employees and vendors is now so low it's listed with scientific notation. (no joke) The lapboard is cool, but these guys are extremely unlikely to ever finish and ship. My only hope is that since the IP is completely unprotected, that someone else will take the idea and run with it. Logitech, anyone?!
      Or Alienware? Did anyone else notice that in the slideshow the Phantomboard has the Alienware logo in the top right corner but in the photo farther down in the article it has been clumsily photoshopped out? Did Phantom simply sell off it's one viable product?
      • Most of Infinium/Phantom's promo shots were faked, often clumsily. After faking shots of prototype devices playing Quake 3 and one of the more recent Smash Brothers titles, showing a mockup of the device in front of someone's Alienware rig (which arguably looks more stylish than the average beige box) is hardly surprising. The fact that you can see the AW logo in one shot and it's been blurred in the other just means that they didn't catch it at first.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kklein ( 900361 )

        I thought you were seeing things. Then I went back and looked...


        But now the weird question is: Why did Maximum PC review something clearly marked "Alienware" as a Phantom product? Isn't that worth noting?

        Did Alienware buy the company (for $2 and a pack of gum)?

        Very interesting indeed.

        • You know I was thinking the same thing, that or a very elaborate pump'n'dump scheme. I looked at the marketwatch page for PHEI and there was some activity on wednesday and thursday and then again on friday. The price of the stock actually went up on wednesday but by friday had settled back to where it was so if anyone was planning a pump'n'dump... looks like it didn't work
      • I think the shot you're referring to as being photoshopped out is actually just a shot of the device upside-down. You'll notice the alienware logo is in the lower left in that particular shot.
        • Nope look again, the shot I'm talking about is the one pretty much at the end of the article and you can actually see the outline of the logo in the upper right corner
    • A stock price of two hundredths of a cent... Ouch.
    • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @09:03PM (#23210464)
      Smoke and mirrors would be worth more than their stock! []
    • My only hope is that since the IP is completely unprotected, that someone else will take the idea and run with it.
      What "IP" is there to "protect"?
  • by Plazmid ( 1132467 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @07:06PM (#23209684)
    In other news, Hell freezes over, scientist builds a working perpetual motion machine, an electron's position and velocity are revealed at the same time, and a mathematician finally proves you can divide by zero.
  • by thedrx ( 1139811 )
    (the company formerly known as Infinium Labs)

    Heh heh heh :P
  • Every year (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <.enderandrew. .at.> on Saturday April 26, 2008 @07:12PM (#23209726) Homepage Journal
    Every year they say it is a few months off. Heck, when they announced the Phantom Console, I think they said it was only 6 months off and took pre-orders.

    The Optimus keyboard was the same way for years, but ThinkGeek actually has an Optimus in stock amazingly. So yes, it is possible the Lapboard will ship, but I'm not sure it is newsworthy until it actually does.

    Yep, looks like a duck.
  • by startled ( 144833 ) on Saturday April 26, 2008 @07:20PM (#23209772)
    From wikipedia:

    "On January 3, 2006, Infinium Labs announced that the Phantom Lapboard is due to be released onto online retailers by the second quarter of 2006"

    And here's Gamespot reporting on the Lapboard's delay-- pushed all the way back to later in 2006: [].

    Heck, RTFA: "When we first gave it a test spin at E3 2004...."

    So now they're giving it a test spin again, 4 years later, and that means it's shipping this year?

    Excuse me if I'm mildly skeptical.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      From that link, dated Apr 19, 2006:

      Now the company says it will ship to stores in North America and Europe "no later than October."

      That "lapboard" doesn't look too high-tech, what are they trying to build? in 2 years I see more different flavours of keyboards comming out from various vendors. Even from unlabelled, unknown vendors. What are they trying to build?

      I think it's save to say; if you need more then 2 years to design and build a keyboard, which another vendor could sell for 50$, and trying to up t

  • 1. No numeric keypad. I like my numeric keypad. They couldn't bring themselves to include it, either on the main or a separate model?

    2. C'mon people it's a fucking keyboard with a hinged board on it. That's it? THAT'S IT? This took years to make? I'm surprised there wasn't some contest by MAKE magazine to make a prototype quicker.

    In fact, that's what we should do. Any over-hyped product like this should spawn homebrew imitators just to embarrass them. That would make the investors think twice before giving
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tomhudson ( 43916 )

      You can make one yourself with a regular keyboard, a pop rivet, and a piece of hard polyboard.

      1. Cut board to shape
      2. Drill hole in center
      3. Remove back of standard wireless keyboard
      4. Drill hole in center of back that you removed in step 3
      5. Pop-rivet board to back of keyboard
      6. Screw back of keyboard back on
      7. Put an Alienware logo on it and then photoshop it to remove the logo in some of the pics, to create some buzz.
      8. Slashvertize it.

      ... and after all those steps, STILL NO PROFIT!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Provocateur ( 133110 )
      The person in the photo is not a person. He comes with the keyboard, and is part of the technical spec. Cyberdyne systems model T-099. You know the one: they look human - sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. He started out as a baby when we gave him the prototype...

      Practicing on FPS's even as we speak. When we find the right language to persuade him to let go of the prototype, then we'll ship, I swear.
    • by kklein ( 900361 )

      This is the best idea I have ever heard. Really. Okay, maybe not the best, but it is damned good.

  • I want to know who is in the photos posing with that 2x4 keyboard mouse contraption; He made his ring on his index finger quite obvious. All I could think while looking at the 5 or so pictures was the guy saying, "who's yo daddy? I'm yo daddy, and I gots me a muthafuckin phantom lapbowd... now kiss mah pimp ring before I beat you wit mah shoe..."
    • by nawcom ( 941663 )
      And the person who submitted this "First Looks" article is Will Smith? Well.. Will Smith is dah pimp daddy...
  • this has probably been said, but for that price, you can buy a gyration kb mouse combo, or a logitech lap combo. I'd prefer a logitech over that thing.

    Just who the fuck do these phantom assholes think they are? They fucking lie to us for the past 6 years and then they release this turd peripheral after promising a bunch of shit hardware that no one wants. Well, no one wants this turd either.

    Fuck 'em. I'm boycotting them.
  • Unfortunately, this doesn't look like it has any wrist support. Holding a mouse at that angle for hours at a time leads to bad things.
  • ...that Phantom is trying to make a wireless keyboard and mouse, considering the gaming kb/mouse market consists mainly of wireless devices. Logitech tried to do wireless for gaming I believe once with the G7, and has yet to do anything more, probably due to lag or perceived lag by the market for those devices.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's great to see links to previous slashdot articles, but they're for the console. What really puts it in perspective are these ones:

    "Phantom Lapboard On Sale August 15th" []

    "Phantom Entertainment Announces Lapboard Preorders" []

    "Alienware Ordering Phantom Lapboards" []

    They all date from 2006!

    We kid all the time about Duke Nukem Forever, but at least 3D Realms hasn't set a release date or offered preorders ... and then still not delivered almost 2 years later!!
  • []
    watch this and you'll know how much you need a mouse and a keyboard in your living room!
    (and this "lapboard" doesn't even have a gyro-mouse! it's just a freakin' mouse with a board to put on your lap!)
  • I just bought this for my mythtv [] media box:
    Logitech diNovo Mini []

    what else do you need?
  • That lapboard is huge.

    About a year ago I built a MythTV [] PVR for my wife who is not really into computers. We had a similar keyboard human interface problem with regard to couch-friendliness.

    We ended up finding a tiny import "SEJIN SPR-8696WT FreeBoard Trackball Wireless Keyboard" that's 11.5" x 6", has an integrated trackball and infrared. It works great on the couch, tolerates moderate chucking and I still haven't had to replace the batteries.

    This is somewhat hard to find online now that I'm lookin

  • I've found that the texture of your average couch is perfect for optical mouse tracking, what is the need for a separate surface for mousing?
  • I'm planning to build a computer this summer, it's going to be a desktop. However, I've had a laptop for the last three years, I've gotten really used to laptop keyboards, and I like them better. Does anyone know where I might find a laptop-syle keyboard for a desktop for a reasonable price? This looks laptop-like enough, but $130 is pretty steep and I don't need it to be wireless.
  • What I would love to find is a wireless keyboard that has a pointing device integrated into it.

    Something similar to a laptop keyboard with a touchpad or the little rubber nub.

    Personally, such a setup would be perfect for a home theater pc where using a separate mouse may be a hassle.
  • These guys have managed to persuade investors to give them more than 70mil USD, which they have put into their pockets (in the form of salaries, consulting or other services) without building anything. They may be incompetent in tech but they are very very competent in economics (thief-ionics to be more accurate). Now they are out for one more round. My guess: there are enough suckers that will buy stock

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead