Computer, Hardware, Software, Technology

Dream Keyboard: Optimus


The Optimus Keyboard from Russian’s Art.Lebedev Studio should be out on February of this year. This is truly a dream keyboard, as every key has it’s own customisable OLED display, which means that you can choose what is displayed on it.

These are a few points that the manufacturers point out:

  • It’s in the initial stage of production.
  • We hope it will be released in 2006.
  • It will cost less than a good mobile phone.
  • It will be real.
  • It will be OS-independent(at least it’s going to be able to work in some default state with any OS).
  • It will support any language or layout.
  • Each key could be programmed to produce any sequence.
  • It will be an open-source keyboard, SDK will be available.
  • Some day it will be split(and made “ergonomic?).
  • It will most likely use the OLED technology (e-paper/e-ink is sooo slow).
  • It will feature a key-saver.
  • Keys could be animated when needed.
  • It has a numeric keypad because we love it.
  • It will be available worldwide (why not?)
  • OEM is possible(why not?)


Optimus is good for any layouts—Cyrillic, Ancient Greek, Georgian, Arabic—and so on to infinity: notes, numerals, special symbols, HTML codes, mathematical functions.

Underneath are some shots of the keyboard customised for the program / application in use:

English lower case

Photoshop customised keys (forget the shortcuts! just press the pre-programmed key!)

Quake game keys (keep your focus on the game not the commands)

In my opinion, this is a wonderful concept for a keyboard and always wondered why no one came out with such a product. Hope others would follow in this brilliant example, and when such keyboards would become ‘standard’, also hope that software makers would have their software customisation (key shortcuts) with the installation of the software.

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