Stylish OLED Keyboard

I ran across this little gem on digg, and it’s one of those things ideas you think of but never act on, then kick yourself for later. Years ago, I had the idea of putting small LCD screens inside each key on a keyboard so that when you hold down a modifier key, such as control or option (alt), the entire keyboard pattern changes to show you what symbols are revealed. It’s everything the ridiculous Windows Alt-key combinations could ever hope to be, and what the Mac key combos could have been if the technology was available. Several years ago, though, I had neither the skills nor the technology to create such a keyboard, much less the inclination to patent the idea. Fast forward to today and you’ll find the Optimus keyboard — a brilliantly executed piece of engineering, combing sleek Apple-like style with low-power Organic LED screens in each key. Not only can the tiny displays change to show character mappings, they can also show color graphics such as icons or representations of actions, handy for Photoshop or other such applications. Designed by Art Lebedev (you may know them for their clever and popular bar code posters), the Optimus keyboard is not yet in production. However, I know this much: I want one. See some more photos of it on their site.

Update: Read an interview with the creators.

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Stylish OLED Keyboard

7 thoughts on “Stylish OLED Keyboard

  1. It’s funny how things reappear. Keyboards with LED keys were actually made in the 80s. Only b&w, and with a much smaller resolution (like 10×10 pixels per kay) – but they were made. Nobody cared, really. ;)

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  2. Well, you guys have now idea who Art. Lebedev is. He is a funniest artist I ever knew since he started in 1995. So he like practical jokes and spoofs like Optimus keyboard. I was laughing out loud when some reviewer wrote: “Russian scientists invented new keyboard”. LOL! First, he is not a scientist, he is a graphic artist. Second, this is a spoof – such keyboard exists only on his Photoshop screen. Third, if you want such keyboard for $300, you are crazy. Even if some famous company (Logitech or Kensington or else) would not start such a rediculous concept. Here is idea for you: Why not design a color plasma LCD for each key? The keys would be lighted at night, keep you warm when it is cold, and will cost only $1499? Plus only a few kings of Europe could buy it…

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  3. Jamie says:

    It doesn’t matter if it is a spoof, or if it would cost £1000. The idea is out there now. Every one that sees the keyboard starts thinking “where can I get one”.

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