Kevin Cheng  

Optimus Keyboard

August 20th, 2005 by Kevin Cheng ::

Aside from having the most awesome name ever, it’s a keyboard where every single key is a 32x32 OLED display.

15 Responses to “Optimus Keyboard”
Dave wrote:

Ok, that is just too cook for school! I’ll take one that is ergo please. ;)

Step wrote:

Yeah, I saw this thing a month or two ago. One part of me is shocked that nothing like this has made it to market before (or maybe something did, but I never heard about it). I’d say I’m definitely getting one, but I’m considering trying some ergonomic, possibly even going to a one-handed keyboard. However, this keyboard could potentially even be used for that!

Caroline Jarrett wrote:

First thought: I love it, I want one of those. Second thought: just a slight worry. How do you know what you’ll get on the keys before you do the switch thing that changes what’s on the keycaps? I seem to look a lot at the keyboard when I want something unusual to see whether it’s on the regular or shifted keyboard.

Greeny wrote:

That is awsome, presumably you’ll be able to configure it to be standard i.e have both shifted and non-shifted chars displayed at the same time.

Will definatly be getting one of these

Jacques Troux wrote:

Too bad it’s not real, it’s just a concept piece by a design company.

Devin wrote:

..from the Answers Page, Jacques:

It’s in the initial stage of production.
We hope it will be released in 2006.
It will be real.

Gerard wrote:

Very nice, very interesting. I’d love to do some design work with this, writing to the keyboard the keys people can push in a particular situation on web or software. Has some potential “design for all” aspects.

Ashley Yakeley wrote:

Cool, you could set it up to emulate a Das Keyboard.

Bob Salmon wrote:

Keyboard that has an integrated display? Does it do blue screen of death too? Is what it shows when it crashes as configurable as the rest of its features?

Does it have an alternative c-mode set of icons to display when you spill your coffee over it? A d-mode for when it accretes enough keyboard dust?

Sorry - I really shouldn’t post first thing on a rainy Monday morning, particularly when I have a cold.

Rajio wrote:

I’m just wondering if it’ll make me look down at my keys more; as it is, i rarely if ever look down.

Greg wrote:

Re: Devin and the Answers page: I’ll believe it when I see production models - not before.

Mike wrote:

Usability wise, I’m sure you guys have some interesting ideas.

For example, how does one remember shortcuts now? Will the program say z is the shortcut to zoom, or say “the zoom icon”. How does this act as a shortcut mode, if it involves GUI elements (turning it into a mousey style interface)? After all, the reason shortcuts work, is most people are good typists and can quickly hit Z, knowing the exact location already.

Also, Cut/Copy/Paste. C key reads something like “Selection tool”, hold down ctrl and it changes to a Copy icon. Huh?

Anyways, this is a potentially intersting, but knowing companies, will most likely become a niche market thanks to simply doing what seems nice at the time. I think that I just expanded on Rajio’s post though.

Tom, Kevin, care to do this in more detail?

Jordan Lund wrote:

The possibilities are quite cool. Imagine having a live keyboard display that changes as you type. You hold down the CTRL key and see all the little letters change into appropriate icons (x = scissors, c = 2 sheets of paper, v = paste bucket).

Naturally the first thing I’ll do is figure out how to make the green matrix drop code. (Yes, they say animation is possible.)

Usabilist wrote:

You hold down the CTRL key and see all the little letters change into appropriate icons (x = scissors, c = 2 sheets of paper, v = paste bucket).

You forget that if the characters are replaced with icons, the mnemonic of the command, which consists of Ctrl + is broken. The remembering of the combination becomes harder for the user.

Imagine, the instructions say “press Ctrl + H”, the user presses Ctrl and … there are no “H” anymore.

Bob Salmon wrote:

I wonder what the security’s going to be like for this kind of thing? Could they be hacked? Make them display jumbled letters, or Cyrillic for an English user? Or swear words?

On a completely unrelated note, it strikes me that this is very similar to the kind of thing offered to speech-impaired people for a long time.

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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?