Print 25 comment(s) - last by QueBert.. on Jul 17 at 4:17 PM

Optimus OLED Keypad gets a launch date

The revolutionary Optomus Mini Three keypad finally has a launch date and Art. Lebedev Studio has begun taking pre-orders for the device. The Mini Three uses small OLED screens embedded in the individual keys allowing each to display different images depending on the user’s preference.  The keypad comes with software that allows the user to choose what each display shows and can be changed on the fly depending on what application is being used.

The device connects via USB and each key has a resolution of 96x96 pixels. The device can support animated graphics at 5fps and is capable of displaying 262,000 colors at a viewing angle of 160 degrees. The keypad currently supports Windows; however, the company plans to release its software across multiple platforms in the future. The keys are set in an aluminum housing (either black or natural) and each is made of a clear resin material with the OLED embedded into it. The company expects each OLED to have a lifespan of around 5,000 hours.

The keypad will ship worldwide September 1 for $160 US or can be pre-ordered for $120 USD until August 1. In the future, the company still hopes to ship its 101-key full sized keyboard utilizing the same technology giving users the opportunity to have a fully customizable keyboard on the fly.

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I've always wondered about Art Lebedev
By lennylim on 7/14/2006 4:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
Wander around their website and you'll eventually come across this link:

The mystery of the Declaration of Independence

Makes me wonder if the Optimus is a joke as well.

RE: I've always wondered about Art Lebedev
By Googer on 7/14/2006 10:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
Thats kind of funny considering that Art Lebedev is a Soviet communist citizen...

If you keep wandering accross his site you will also find a demonstration of the device.

By unparalleled intellect on 7/15/2006 2:20:44 AM , Rating: 2
Communist Russia died over a decade ago.

RE: I've always wondered about Art Lebedev
By Burning Bridges on 7/15/2006 5:46:55 AM , Rating: 3
Stupidity, Racism and Hate didn't, though.


By Googer on 7/15/2006 12:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't hate anyone.

By TheLiberalTruth on 7/15/2006 2:25:24 PM , Rating: 4
Art Lebedev is a Soviet communist citizen...

Have you looked at a globe lately? Like the one guy said, the USSR was dissolved over a decade ago. How can he be a citizen of something that no longer exists?

By MAIA on 7/14/2006 1:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
LOL , more than 100$ for 3 buttons. Are you kidding me ?

Better buy a cheap 3 button mouse and use some stickers ...

By IMPoor on 7/14/2006 1:57:32 PM , Rating: 5
Button 2: Porn
Button 3: Quick Porn close

Button 3 is vital since somebody could burst in at any moment. Doesn't anybody knock around here? $100 is better than being caught with your pants down.

By xlmussel on 7/14/2006 2:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you'll have enough time to push button 3 when you need to...

By Viper007Bond on 7/16/2006 4:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
Woo hoo! At this price, the full keyboard will only cost US$5,386.67! :D

Lifespan isn't just 5000 Hours
By Kim Leo on 7/15/2006 5:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the light just becomes less light(?)after the 5000 hours.. I want one, i think they are cool :D, just enable powersave mode and it should hold about a year or soemthing + Russian Technology works well :D.

RE: Lifespan isn't just 5000 Hours
By Runiteshark on 7/15/2006 10:27:38 AM , Rating: 2
American components, Russian components, all made in Taiwann!

RE: Lifespan isn't just 5000 Hours
By PedroDaGr8 on 7/15/2006 12:22:02 PM , Rating: 3
Isn't that typical of today. For example the new British MG. Of course in the modern day British means made by a Chinese company in Oklahoma, but who is splitting hairs. Hell Toyota makes more of their cars and parts in the US than any of the big three.

By TheLiberalTruth on 7/15/2006 2:29:09 PM , Rating: 4
Hell Toyota makes more of their cars and parts in the US than any of the big three.


Makes you wonder what makes an auto maker "American".

urr.. what's the point of this?
By andylawcc on 7/14/2006 1:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
or, what do you use this for?

By psychobriggsy on 7/14/2006 1:44:39 PM , Rating: 4
ctrl + alt + delete :p

it's just a gimmick and a proof of concept. it's way too expensive however, and 5000 hours doesn't seem very good.

I'd rather they used a monochrome long-life OLED instead. It'd surely be cheaper, and just as useful for signifying information, especially on a standard keyboard where you just want to switch between various keymaps and shift/ctrl/alt displays.

I can see a time in the future where this type of feature is common on keyboards however. I don't think this implementation will be it though.

By ksherman on 7/14/2006 1:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
im sorry, but 5,000 hours doesnt even get it through a year. does it turn off the screens when not being "used"?

also seems like an awful lot of money for something that doesnt seem to be very special.

Now the keyboard, i once thought that as very gimicky esp with the pics floating around with the little gamming icons... but then i realized the amazing application of being able to change the language on the keyboard, as well as special keys for creative software, such as photoshop, premiere, and the like...

5,000 hours? You've got to be having a laugh
By Muirgheasa on 7/14/2006 1:49:02 PM , Rating: 2
I know I'm not the first to say this, but 5,000 hours is a laughably short lifespan. That's only 208 days (actually 208.3333etc). Even if you have your PC on for the standard working day of 8 hours, less an hour for lunch, you still have less than 3 years screen life. Any keyboard that only lasts 3 years is hardly economical. Still, given how many Windows related jokes can be made with it, it might prove useful yet.

By AnnihilatorX on 7/16/2006 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
It's not their fault though. It's the inherent problem of OLEDs

By albundee on 7/14/2006 1:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
they are teasing us.

we want the keyboard not a 3 button shortcut thing-a-ma-bobber

RE: .
By eomhS on 7/14/2006 2:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
there is a keyboard, it'll take a while to get here, and will be WAY more expensive

Keyboard might be useful
By Hoser McMoose on 7/14/2006 1:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, this three-button thing seems, to me, to be pretty darn useless. However, that being said, I can see lots of good uses for a full fledged keyboard.

First and foremost it would be great for people needing multilingual support. A keyboard that can change the display on the keys could very easily be able to transform between any number of languages with a click of the mouse. It could also be a boost for those Dvorak keyboard folks, as this design could easily be made to switch between QWERTY and Dvorak. Finally it could also be rather nifty for games, putting little pictures in place of the key letters (ie a little ammo clip on the 'R' key for reloading).

Of course, the real key is going to be price. I can't see too many people spending over $100 for a keyboard when a cheap one can be hand for under $10 (or free). Given that they plan on selling the three-button widget for $160, I kinda doubt that the keyboard is going to be remotely economical.

Rackmount please
By peternelson on 7/14/2006 4:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
5000 hours is hopeless! Maybe its a typo I hope?

The price is not bad for a niche product.

However I'd much prefer this in a 1U or 2U rackmount form factor, say 6 buttons.

These OLED are a bit like NKK smartswitches and could have similar applications in equipment control panels. Depends what they feel like to use too.

By eomhS on 7/14/2006 6:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
hoorah, it comes out on my birthday!

By QueBert on 7/17/2006 4:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to sell some Organs or figure out a way to buy 33 of these and form a giant OLED keyboard. Would be the best 3k ever spent. Then I can get rid of the stupid keyboard stickers I got from Teenbeat Magazine with the Celb and their inital for the letter (IE: H key = Hillar Duff with pix! B key = Brittany Spears, etc) And use actual gif pics.

my $3,000 keyboard will own j00!

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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