The First Open-Source Keyboard - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
7/28/2005
09:57 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

The First Open-Source Keyboard

I enjoyed Bill O'Brien's piece on new and interesting input devices over at Personal Tech Pipeline. But he missed what may be coolest thing to happen to a keyboard since, well, since there have been keyboards: Artemy Lebedev's Optimus. When I first laid eyes on this thing about a month ago, I knew I had to have one. Why? If you have to ask, then I can't explain.

I enjoyed Bill O'Brien's piece on new and interesting input devices over at Personal Tech Pipeline. But he missed what may be coolest thing to happen to a keyboard since, well, since there have been keyboards: Artemy Lebedev's Optimus.

When I first laid eyes on this thing about a month ago, I knew I had to have one. Why? If you have to ask, then I can't explain.There's a good summary of the Optimus over at Primotech:

"When a Russian design firm broke the news of its OLED keyboard on Thursday, July 14, geeks everywhere were tickled with delight. Rather than traditional keys that feature printed characters, each key on the Optimus keyboard contains a small OLED display that can be set to display whatever the user requires."

In the same article, the writer interviews Artemy Lebedev, the keyboard's creator and the founder of the Lebedev Studio -- Russia's leading design house:

"We've thought about the first 'open-source keyboard'. There will be an SDK and some user 'keyboard studio' application which will allow the keyboard to be customized for any mode or application in any way imaginable, from DVORAK to arranging letters in alphabetical order."

You don't have to have a crystal ball to predict the raging torrent of creativity the Optimus will unleash upon the previously non-existent field of input key design. We'll also see the birth of "key-porn" and keyboard malware, and I'm sure the marketers will be looking for ways to put their products under your thumb, so to speak -- how much more will it cost to advertise on your spacebar than on, say, the "d" key (always hidden under a touch-typist's fingers)?

I'd also bet the shirt on my back that Jonathan Ive and Steve Jobs have either talked to Lebedev about marrying his creation to the Mac, or they've at least booked their flights to Moscow.

There are pictures, pretty pictures. You, too, will want one.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll