Optimus Maximus - Here's what a $1,490 keyboard looks like

Optimus Maximus - Here's what a $1,490 keyboard looks like

Summary: The $1,500 Optimus Maximus keyboard.


Well, it's been years in development but Art Lebedev has finally finished development work on the 114-key color OLED (organic LED) Optimus Maximus keyboard. 

Optimus Maximus

Press shots have been released at CeBIT and I've compiled a gallery of the images here.  No keyboard prototypes are present at CeBIT, just the photos, so we shouldn't get all that excited.

The release date for the Optimus Maximus has been pushed to December 2007 (the company started taking pre-orders for the keyboard back in December 2006).

Initial thoughts:  It looks very smart, but I wonder if it's $1,500 smart.  I don't like the bevel on the keys and I'm concerned by the life-expectancy of the OLED displays.  It would, however, make experimenting with the Dvorak keyboard layout a lot easier!

Topic: CEBIT

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  • This reminds me, there use to be....

    This exotic executive "thing" like a blotter.
    (this was in the mid'90's)

    It contained a Flat screen monitor(don't remeber the size) and a secondary screen that was a Keyboard and as it was all touchscreen it did not need a mouse.
    And all laid flat on the desk like a blotter.

    It was 5 g's or maybe 25 g's

    Wish I could remeber the name to look it up?
    Something straight out Star Trek or Tron.

    I have hopping to see OLED's in more things sooner as one day they will replace LCD's & Plasma.
  • I would use a $12 keyboard on just about any system.

    This is nothing but a kewl feature that is neat until you see the price tag. Just go buy a $12 keyboard and a $30 desk lamp so the keys don't have to glow in the dark. Keyboards bought at Jarad's Jewelers.
    • OLED display in each key I think, not glow keyboard

      This means you could change to say german keyboard layout. Then again, you could just have two $12 keyboards.
      • Might be handy ...

        ... if you work with loads of languages!! ;-)
        Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
        • What about loads of applications and games?

          The example I saw on their website was the keyboard layout changing to fit whatever program you're using. If it's Photoshop or whatever, icons of the tools you need show up on the keyboard beneath the letters.

          If you're using Final Cut Pro or Avid, the keys become different colors depending on editing or compositing.

          If you're playing different games like Quake, Unreal, World of Warcraft, etc, again, the keyboard layout can change to suit that specific game.

          However, I bet you could make it a [i]lot[/i] cheaper if you used E Ink instead of OLEDs. It'd only be B&W, but I think that'd be fine for education.
      • I'm thinking, for $1500...

        I could probably buy just about every keyboard layout available. Organization would be a b1tch, though...
      • I was being in a simple mood.

        If I could speak five languages I would be out $60 dollars or some time remapping the US keyboard and some keyboard pasties. I say ramp up production and bring it down to $75 tops and then we talk. Looks like someone is putting Timken roller bearings with a 1" bore on a "hand crank" meat grinder. Too much love went into it like a Buell, BMW or Ducati motorcycle.
    • I could buy 2 systems with keyboards

      for the price of just this one keyboard!
      John Zern
      • I would rather spend the money on a Quadro video card.

        Something that would boost the value of your applications to make your 3D production go up and see how your renderings would look like in reality. You could also get the 6800 Conroe Core Duo + motherboard + 1 gig of ram and be more productive. I guess I am saying the keyboard is lower priority for me like a universal joint where money is better spent elsewhere.
  • Priorities

    Hmmm. I'll put this on my "To Buy" list just under the $10,000.00 (US) Scott Addict bicycle.

    Just kidding.
  • What! You mean Apple does't make it!

    Some other company actually sells hardware for a high price! Gads!
    • If Apple made it...

      If Apple made it, the rest of the computer industry would be tripping over themselves so they could copy it.
      • Probably. Apple knows the consumer they sell to.

        My point was if the price fits, it sells. Macs sell. Maybe this keyboard will too. I'll buy another Mac before I buy this keyboard...and an iPhone too!
      • Well, given somebody else just made it, now they can take it...

        Just like the GUI and mouse (thank Xerox, y'all...) :D

        Funny how both Microsoft AND Xerox could lose over the same sort of lawsuit, except Microsoft tried to take and Xerox claimed Apple took... it's the same thing.
  • Wow!

    Think of all the things that can be done with this? Color coded key for gaming functions.

    Combine a bunch of keys in the middle to make a big pulsating green button that say "PRESS ME" at a kiosk.

    The education and advertising markets would have a hayday with this.

    Thing is, the price will always be high until volume is increased.

    I would really like to see one of these on my desk along with and OS an software that makes innovative use of it.

    Hmmm. I wonder if a single key can be programmed to perform multiple functions depending on what the image is and if these functions can be changed on demand....
    • That's one angle I hadn't thought about...

      Public kiosks would definitely be served by a keyboard like this, providing the programming allows for that type of use.
  • At that price...

    ... the keyboard should include the single most important possible feature: adjustable width keys.

    Close to the center of the key should work, and not result in hitting at least one neighboring key as well. And, because people are more likely to miss the center of some keys than others, the resizing should be applicable to individual keys and not the whole keyboard.

    Thjat should delay issue of the product for another few years.
    Anton Philidor
  • It's still a SQUARE keyboard

    What happened to ergonimics??? Even my Acer has a curved keyboard that greatly reduces hand fatigue.

    Come on, for $1500 and it's still going to cause repetitive stress?
    • Nonsense...

      Most people hate curved keyboards. Sure they may be better for you, but the vast majority of people that my company have worked for dislike the "ergonomic" keyboards.

      On the other hand, a full-color, programmable keyboard is neat, but who really needs it? It won't become useful or popular until it comes down to the $100 level...
    • Probably get more bang for...

      your ergonomic buck by setting your system up properly. Most people have the keyboard too high, the monitor too low, and they don't really know how to type. There were many secretaries who typed on manual machines, 120 wpm or more, who never developed RSI. Piano players don't, either (as a rule. I'm sure there are some who have).

      Wrist rests are another bad thing. Most people don't know to type with their fingertips, and, instead, break their wrists, and type with the ball of the finger.

      I'm lucky that my mother sent us to summer school to learn to type.