It’s REEEAAAL: the Optimus Maximus keyboard displayed at CES 2008

Finally. After years of waiting, the skeptics have been proven wrong. The design geniuses at Russian design company Art Lebdev have come through with a working model of their Optimus Maximus keyboard, which, for those of you who have been living in cave for the past couple of years :-) is a keyboard which has little color screens as keys, making it suitable for any language (and a million other applications).

Optimus Keys
The video above was recently taken at CES 2008, where the man himself, Mr Lebedev was demoing the keyboard.

The Optimus Maximus, which was labelled as vaporware by many, will come in 4 configurations:

The cheapest one, with only the space bar as an ‘active’ key, costs around US$ 460. If you want an all-active keyboard, prepare to shell out over US$ 1500.
What could be scary for Lebedev is the this Apple patent. Amazingly, this Apple patent for a dynamically changeable keyboard has recently surfaced. Let’s see what apple actually do with this patent.

What’s next for Art Lebedev? This:

Optimus Tactus
The Optimus Tactus. Still at concept stage, this is a touch-screen based keyboard. While this seems like a more reasonable solution compared to the Maximus and it multitude of little screens, the tactile feedback from the keyboard with physically press-able screens does have its advantages.
Whatever the outcome of all of this inventive spirit will be, the people at Art Lebedev deserve a big cheer. After all, they started as a small web and graphic design studio in 1995.

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