Optimus Maximus: 'Board for the Rich
May 28, 2007 § Leave a comment
Artlebedev has done it again. The Russian design firm recently came up with one of the most interesting keyboards I have seen up to no. Usually, keyboard have preset shortcut keys which do a preprogrammed action, like change volume and things of the such, and when you’re lucky, the company supplies an application to modify how these keys behave. Today, this is standard, and even 10 dollar keyboards come with at least a half dozen of shortcut keys, but the Optimus Maximus takes the idea of hotkeys even further, making them dynamic keys.
What is so special about the Maximus is that each and every single key on this keyboard is made up of a tiny LCD panels on each key, with 48 pixels squared of display capacity, and up to 10 frames per second of animation. This means that you can not only change your board lettering as you change input language, but also assign a program or shortcut to a key, and have the icon for that key light up with the icon for the program. The 10 FPS of motion means that you can even put animated GIFs as an icon, or hack the keyboard up to accept stuff like dynamically generated system status info, or just about anything you like. All the displays are also fully editable color wise, meaning that you can customize character colors at will.
On the practical side, the Maximus also includes two USB 2.0 high speed ports and and SD (MS/MS-Pro Duo?) card reader, for your quick plug-ups of removable media. For those in a potentially unsafe environments, the keyboard also includes a Kensington type lock, like the ones found on laptops, which is reasonable because in most cases the keyboard will be worth more than the machine it is connected to.
For those interested, a mini version of this design with only 3 shortcut keys is also available.
Hurry up to order, as all the Artledebev items, quantities are limited, and stocks go down really, really fast. Price for one of these babies: over 1 500$USD. Sell your house, sell your car, but get that damed 1.5 k, the boards are available in pre-order right now.