Optimus LED keyboard coming out soon?

By Derek Sooman on January 10, 2006, 5:00 PM
A keyboard from Optimus may soon be available that has an LED array that can be customized to display icons, such as the Internet Explorer "e" or Quicktime's signature icon. There has been press coverage showing dazzling pictures of keys with clear, crisp and colourful icons. Just imagine the possibilities - Photoshop artists and video editors who often have to customize key combinations will be able to work more effectively, and users can customize their own key images and bind their own keystroke combinations.

Is such a keyboard technically possible to produce? Jagdish Rebello, Senior Industry Analyst for iSuppli and LED expert, told TG Daily that it's "definitely possible". He adds that the most important part is not the actual LED, but the electronics behind it. "From an LED perspective it's not a big deal, but the key factor is the drive circuitry, which pushes color to each pixel," says Rebello.

User Comments: 14

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PanicX said:
This would be a great gamer's keyboard. Forgot what key you bound hand grenade to? Just look! Also would be great for typing in the dark. My [b]guess[/b] is it'll be around $200 though and thats rough.
exscind said:
That would be a great keyboard for anyone. And yes, it'd be wonderful for gamers too :). This is certainly an interesting approach in creating customized icons for keys. Rather than having fixed ones on the actual keys, it utilizes pixels much the same way a monitor does.In terms of costs, $200 seems like a good estimate, PanicX. But I would not be surprised if it sells for $275 or so. Each of those keys need a separate LED with the circuitry to generate pixels on demand, so I can't see it being any cheaper than $200.
Eleventeen said:
Woah, now this would be nice to have. In that picture they show you though, that doesn't look like it's the real thing. Maybe im crazy. But if that is the actual picture I would buy one of these in an instant. That would be so cool to get to customize your keyboard and stuff with just those LED's. I could make an icon for every weapon I have in games like FEAR and Half-Life 2. I'm not really impressed alot at most new hardware that comes out today, but with this one I am.
spike said:
nice, but no doubt at a premium - on that for me is too much to justify. That said - maybe it's the future - if it is it'll be cheap enough sooner or later and we'll all have one.
nathanskywalker said:
Ohhh, nice, very nice, but same here, sorry, i don't have $300 for a keyboard, no matter how nice it is. However, in the future, this would be a very nice asset.
barfarf said:
That thing rocks. I wonder if i can put a pic of my ex-girlfriend face in place of the "b" key on the keyboard? I wonder if i can having moving colors in beat of music like good winamp visual plug-in. Now that woulod be awesome!
fury said:
The only feasible use I can see for this keyboard is using it to display minipr0ns on each key, or displaying one pr0n on the keyboard as a whole (ala multimonitor setups)I'll stick with my post-it notes if ever do I forget what key does what in [insert favorite app here].Leave it to the Russians to spend millions of dollars inventing something that can be accomplished with every day ordinary household items. ;)
iluvnug said:
Well I personally enjoy my Saitek Eclipse Keyboard. And this keyboard looks even more sleek and sophisticated. I will definitely looking to upgrade from mine my current to this one when I can afford it.
zachig said:
WOW. What an awesome keyboard. This is a GREAT invention. It's too bad it is going to cost a fortune. But, hopefully the prices of products based on OLED technology (like this keyboard) will drop down, when this keyboard will be available on the market.
Cartz said:
Heh, I was gonna say I've already done a mod like that on my own, but this is a little different then what I did. I just slapped some LEDS behind w/a/s/d... This though, this is really cool.Like the first poster said, I bet this retails for $200USD, but for those looking for the coolest peripherals this is pretty sweet. I wonder how many colors it can reproduce... looks like it coiuld be 16 bit from the image in the article. I also wonder if the designers had the foresight to consider things like holding down the alt key and having a different set of bindings appear.Anxious to see a first review.
MonkeyMan said:
This is revolutionary. I am a photoshop user, and believe me, it takes an extremely long time to create images, flash videos, etc. With the release of this new keyboard, it will only make these things much easier, so it is a plus in my book. I'm a PC software freak, so definately, I will be purchasing this.
mentaljedi said:
This will be amazing, and might not go up to 200. Think about it, the other companies aren't going to take this lying down. I'm sure we'll be seeing many of these and this might push the price down. Maybe, though 200 dolars seems resonable for this type of fresh technology,
Mictlantecuhtli said:
How do you program those keys to show something? Wouldn't that be dependent on the OS?
swvader said:
This keyboard would Be the future of keyboards let me tell you when i play my games and i have binded a key sometimes i forget sometimes also it would be nice to not have to have any external lighting for your typing in any case.Also it would be sweet for teaching students where the keys are we all know someone could create a software to teach the kids how to type with this where it would only show you the keys as it tells you where they are and all that stuff instead of know where they just hide your hands with paper it could simply hide the keys. pluss imagine being amble to use this a virtual piano or guitar i meen WOW the uses are endless. I would easly save up and pay the 200 + for this keyboard but if it was more in the 150.00 it would pay for its self in about 1 week i am for sure.swvader@comcast.net www.lennysvids.com
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