Optimus Maximus Keyboard Pre-Order Countdown Begins (Get Yours Saturday)

Illustration for article titled Optimus Maximus Keyboard Pre-Order Countdown Begins (Get Yours Saturday)


As tired as we're getting of this on-again, off-again story, we might as well give you an update on that ambitious Optimus Maximus keyboard, the $1564 piece of vaporware that aims to have an OLED display underneath every key.

Now its Russian makers at Art Lebedev Studio have posted a countdown clock, showing how much time is left until you can pre-order one of the pricey input devices. So when will this bauble really ship?

The company set a ship date for the first 200 keyboards at November 31st of this year, with 200 more rolling out in December, and 400 more in January 2008. The designers are attempting to be completely transparent about their development schedule, but that countdown is also to the time when we can finally see a description and detailed specifications of this expensive keyboard.

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Check out the development schedule:

At these low volumes, perhaps Lebedev should sign and number each one, because they're more like performance-art objects than keyboards.

Optimus Maximus Keyboard [Art.Lebedev]
Optimus Maximus Development Schedule [Art.Lebedev Blog]

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DISCUSSION

I guarantee you while expensive, this will be the future of keyboards and in 5-7 years we will all have the derivatives of this design on our desks and in our laptops.

I will not argue that some version of this may become commonplace in a decade from now. Likely it will be replacements for the function keys so that a program can put little icons on them. However, I can not help but wonder, why? Are we saying the reason no one uses the function keys is because you do not know what their purpose is, and we need changing icons on them to make them usable?

Maybe. But, I am not so certain. They have added all sorts of things to keyboards these days — audio controls, video controls, digital displays to show media info, etc.. Every time I visit someone who has one of these and I ask them how often they use the controls — well, I suspect you know the answer.