I am sure a lot of you geeks out there have seen this gadget before. It’s the Optimus Maximus, a still unreleased super keyboard (priced at over US$ 1000) which will, when released, have a little color screen in each key, enabling it to display any language, icon or image you want. The possibilities are endless. Or: the possibilities are useless as some critics of this device would say (who needs Photoshop icons on their keyboard).
Personally I think it’s a cool concept that will find a niche market. The danger, of course, is that Apple will come out with a tactile multi-touch screen/input system that will make mice and keyboards obsolete.
The Keyboard is nearing release and is actually on display in the new Wired Store in New York.
The Maximus comes from a Russian design company that is the envy of many (me included). Art Lebedev Studio, started as a graphic design company in the late nineties, with a focus on web design. But today, the company is defying all the odds to come out with it’s own hardware!
They’ve been portrayed as innovators on blogs like Engadget. But many people have described them as peddlers of vaporware, especially that the keyboard was announced years ago, and its date of release has been delayed more than once.
But the people at Lebedev have responded to the vaporware allegations in an original manner: the went public with their whole design, development and manufacturing process, frequently posting images, diagrams and information on the keyboard’s development blog.
The blog is a great resource for anyone interested in the field of product design, especially when it comes to digital gadgets. Everything from pre-production prototypes, horror stories with manufacturers in Taiwan and even packaging ideas are there to be seen.
What these people are doing is truly inspiring. I hope the Keyboard gets released finally.
Here is a Demo of how the Optimus Maximus will work..
And here is another crazy gadget concept from the the Art Lebedev Studio!..
3 responses to “From Russia with LED: Optimus keyboard/super-gadget nears actual launch”
Great, i thought that project was on halt, iv been following this keyboard news for years, i see they changed the design a bit.
Good design, who make it?
Wow, I like this keyboard. Can use it to do work in the dark.