May 22, 2007 We have some good news and some bad news for all those people who have been hanging out for the arrival of the Optimus keyboard from Russian designer Artemy Lebedev. The keyboard uses OLED technology so that each of the 113 keys 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 48 x 48 pixel image it shows. The good news is that after several years of legal and production delays, the first keyboards will be available on November 31, 2007. The bad news is that only 200 keyboards will be available on that date, with a further 200 in December and another 400 keyboards in January – hardly enough for a world market.
But wait, there’s more bad news. The price is US$1564 (UER 1256), though when volume production starts, which it surely must for such a sought-after productivity tool, the price can be expected to drop significantly. Pre-orders are now being taken.