Optimus Keyboard

By on July 14, 2005

The keys on an Optimus Keyboard are actually small LED screens. The screens change to display the value of the keys depending on the application you are running. Pretty useful for games and apps like Photoshop. I have a suspicion that this is actually an art piece and not an actual product, but the concept itself is pretty cool.

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. A company out of Saarbrücken, Germany, sold such keyboards already back in the late Eighties. It had monochrome LCD’s which glowed orange, and only a tiny matrix (like 16×16 pixels). This was pre-WWW-era, so I can’t show you a picture or website.

    As a teenager back then I would have KILLED for a keyboard like that. I think it cost something in the range of 500 DM, which was (back then) something like 200 US$.

  2. This is fantastic. All keyboards should be like that, it would have nullified the pain of switching from my usual QWERTY layout to the abominable AZERTY french layout (undoubtedly very good for writing prose but nearly unusable for programming IMNVHO).

  3. I figure its just a matter of time until pc giants move to more ‘interactive’ peripherals…The printer seems to be the first thing they’ve been attacking (adding flash slots, LCD preview screens and editing abilities directly on the printer) but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this same type of ingenuity in things like mice and even monitors.

  4. The video switcher I use at work has buttons like these. I remember the sales guy telling us they were originally designed for US tanks. I’m not saying I belived him, but, that’s what he kept saying. http://www.echolab.com/id4/

  5. This is the best keyboard, i’ve ever seen or think of, this is a must for everyone loves computers

  6. Send me any information as where and how to get one, as soon as possible. I could sell these all day for $300.00 each! (Visit my site and post a comment!)

  7. I found it! It was 1993 and it used a 16×32 dot matrix display. And there is even an image of it!

    TheBoard is a keyboard which has LCD displays in the tops of the keys. Each can display a variety of different characters, alphabets and symbols at the touch of a key. For example, pressing the shift-key automatically displays upper case characters in the tops of each key. The keyboard has 117 keys in total, of which 24 use a 20×8 pixel display for use as function keys, and 47 use a 8×12 display for the alphabetical keys. A version is available with LCD keys for the numeric keypad. TheBoard includes software to enable the creation of new alphabets or symbols. Pricing: $1500
  8. My name is Elkin Acevedo and I am the inventor and I hold the patent for the Display Keyboard. U.S. Patent # 5,818,361. It does exactly the same things as the the Optimus Keyboard and I am working on it to make it possible.

  9. Elkin Acevedo:

    You may have successfully applied for this patent, but I would not rely on it for profit, since there is prior art from 1988, 1993 (see TheBoard above) and various other Keyboard Makers.

    The first dynamic LCD-Keyboard i remember was produced, marketed and sold to public 10 YEARS BEFORE your patent was issued by the US Patent Office (and 8 Years before you filed your patent).

    Before Court, your patent is apparently worthless.

  10. Jor: On the other hand, maybe we let unused prior art block new profit from a new producer and end up not getting the product. Gosh, thanks.

    Luckily, the Russians appear to be committed to making it so hopefully we’ll have the Optimus next year, and Taiwan knockoffs by late 2006 / early 2007.

    If we’re REALLY lucky, Mr, Avecedo can get Taiwan/Korea/China etc. to make the thing on his patent before the end of the year. We’ll probably still get the Optimus, but then, competition is good.

    I just hope we get one in Old Convention IBM-type 101 layout. I hate small backspaces and kidney Enters, and that there are two accepted but slightly different standard layouts. If you’re gonna be different, be real different!

  11. The Optimus Keyboard is a great idea in theory you would never need to buy a new keyboard again. You could program the keys to do volume, mute, suspend, calculator, anything. You could use this keyboard on any OS. I really hope to see this become reality. Especially those of use that do alot of Arch. work and use Photoshop and CAD alot this would be great.

  12. yes oled’s are what they use. and whoever said that this is some art piece is ignorant. industrial designers have no use for stuff that doesnt work.

  13. Finally, we are going to have startrek type screens that change colour and symbols when you use them, but consider this, why not just make 1 rectangular touch screen with very small grid lines and it can display “ACTIVE” emulated keyboarde when needed with a small space in between keys “NOT touch active” so that you don’t hit the wrong keys, this could double as a screen as well

  14. I interviewed the designer for an article I wrote on the Optimus for my site and he would not confirm or deny what would happen on Feb 1. He was rather vauge about the entire thing. Though at one point he did say “the optimus keyboard IS a USB device” not will be a USB device, causing me to speculate. Granted he appeared to have not understood what I was asking him, so it may just be my geek sense is piqued leading me to hope he meant what I wanted to hear. The designer was also very specific in saying the cost of a good cell phone, not 200-300 USD. Could be upwards of $500 if your idea of good is a new Treo type phone.

  15. it is very mutch real, a friend of mine has a friend in some technology company and got his hands on a prototype not to long ago. I haven’t used it, but it looks insane

  16. The Display Keyboarfd may be on the way in the near future. There’s a U.S. patent for the Display Keyboard held by Mr. Elkin Acevedo. The invention is much much older than Levedev’s invention and Elkin’s keyboard is exactly the same as the Optimus Keyboard. Lebedev’s U.S. patents are non-existent. As far as I know the Display Keyboard is being developed here in the United States.

    This is the Website of the Display Keyboard if you have any questions: http://www.displaykeyboard.com

    Maverick

  17. The Display Keyboarfd may be on the way in the near future. There’s a U.S. patent for the Display Keyboard held by Mr. Elkin Acevedo. The invention is much much older than Levedev’s invention and Elkin’s keyboard is exactly the same as the Optimus Keyboard. Lebedev’s U.S. patents are non-existent. As far as I know the Display Keyboard is being developed here in the United States.

    This is the Website of the Display Keyboard if you have any questions: http://www.displaykeyboard.com

    Maverick

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