I’m not a big fan of prototypes. In these hallowed (!?!) pages you will see very little coverage from me of products that not been given official market go-ahead. The reason for this is simple: don’t taunt the reader with kit they may never get the opportunity to own. That said, once in a while something comes along which attempts to reinvent the wheel and does it so well that you just have comment. Anyway, enough of the drum roll, introducing a keyboard for the 21st century….
Produced by the Art Lebedev Studio in Moscow (Mmmn, we love Russians *drool*), the Optimus OLED keyboard is so simple, yet demonstrates such common sense, I can’t believe no one has done it before (cue many readers telling me someone has). The concept is thus: every key features an inbuilt colour OLED. That’s right, no more memorising every button in Word/Photoshop, Half Life 2 or even foreign alphabets, the keys themselves change to illustrate what is what.
Even smarter is the fact that these buttons are customisable. Images and words can be uploaded to each button and a different action assigned to it. Want to label the button “Reload” or “Jump” instead of testing the old grey matter, no problemo. Don’t like certain keys being in certain positions, swap them round. In short, I can think of few more fundamental pleasures than saying “Oih Fn key, NO! You don’t want to be over there by Shift, you want to be nestled alongside Ctrl.”
Now whether this idea takes off or is labelled far too sensible/too expensive for the public or whatever that is not really the point. The point is someone out there with half a brain is still trying to reinvent the basics and for that alone they should be applauded.
Now can we please start them dissecting Windows…?