Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Optimus Maximus Keyboard Makes Me Wish I Was Richie Rich

Art Lebedev Studio, headed by Artemy Lebedev has come with a masterpiece. Or is it? Titled “Optimus Maximus” it’s a high end keyboard with 133 tiny OLED display keys. Now coming to the part where I wish I was Richie Rich. This keyboard costs a whopping $1,600. A bomb. Did some one say that it is the costliest keyboard on the face of the Earth? More on that later.

The trick here is each key can be individually programmed to display different tasks, like playing tiny movies, HTML codes, or your favorite websites. Let me break that down into common speak. There is a screen in each key that displays the function currently assigned to it. Each of its keys is a display which can dynamically change to adapt to the keyboard layout in use or to show the function of the key.

According to the company website, Optimus Maximus’s customizable layout allows convenient use of any language—Cyrillic, Ancient Greek, Georgian, Arabic, Quenya, hiragana, etc.—as well as of any other character sets: notes, numerals, special symbols, HTML codes, math functions and so on to infinity.

Optimus Configurator software allows programming every button to reproduce a sequence of symbols and editing the image separately for each layout.

Most of the reviews I came across on the internet criticized the keyboard for inordinately high CPU usage, slow response time, and buggy configuration software. Another grouse is that after plugging the keyboard to the USB port, one has to slog, programming the keys. The only talking points of this keyboard are that it lets you see the shortcuts visually and the level of customization it offers.

One can individually configure what each key does when it is depressed. Currently scripts, commands and few other functions can be programmed. The keys can display whatever you want it to display according to the guys at Gizmodo. They say that apart from static images, one can also play back a movie on one of the keys Wow. Is it Alien Technology?

Source: Art Lebedev Studio, Gizmodo, Wired.com

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