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Optimus Keyboard by Art.Lebedev

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July 15, 2005

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July 16, 2005 Moscow-based design studio Art. Lebedev may be Russia’s largest design house but it didn’t quite expect the reaction it received when it posted its latest creation, the Optimus keyboard. The keyboard uses OLED technology so that every key is a stand-alone display showing exactly what it is controlling at that moment. Accordingly, you can switch from language to language, or program to program and the functionality of the key will be reflected in the image it shows. If the response to the company’s web site posting is any indication, the keyboard is already a runaway hit, with 230,000 page views and an average two emails a minute from people wanting the keyboard. In brief, the keyboard is likely to become available in 2006, will be OS-independent and “will cost less than a good mobile phone.” It will be open source (a software developers kit will be available) and companies can OEM the keyboard. Indeed, there may even be an ergonomic version.

As far as Art. Lebedev goes, the company has offices located two blocks from the Kremlin, and also in France and the Ukraine but was not widely known outside Russia until the day before yesterday – now it’s a name that’ll almost certainly be heard many times in the future – what a wonderful thing the internet is.

We’ll keep the story going as things unfold, but if you'd like to add to the company's site stats, here's the link.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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