In the past couple of decades, hundreds of new keyboards have come out -- most with alternatives to the clunky QWERTY layout. Unfortunately, for the companies that make these alternative input devices, the QWERTY train has left the station, and ain't comin' back. That's not to say users don't want keyboard innovation.Last year, a Russian studio called the Art Lebedev Studio
created a design concept and published mock-up photos of something they called the Optimus keyboard
. The bright idea behind the keyboard was that each key had a tiny display in it. So instead of the letters, numbers or symbols being printed on the tops of the keys, they would be displayed using pixels and light.
The magic of doing it that way would be that you could change both the functionality and the display on each key based on what application you're using or based on any criteria you want.
The chatter on the concept was so positive and extreme when this idea hit the Internet that the Art Lebedev studio may have decided to come out with a shipping version of the keyboard. At least, that's the rumor, sparked by a note on the Web page dedicated to the Optimus keyboard, which says, "Good Things Come In Small Packages, February 1, 2006).
Well, I hope so. Like every other geek on the planet, I want one. I'll let you know on February 1.
(Thanks to Engadget)