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Optimus gets a little brother

by Steve Kerrison on 1 February 2006, 17:17

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeop

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Art. Lebedev Studio has announced a new product, similar to that of the Optimus keyboard which we continue to await eagerly. The Optimus Mini Three is similar in concept to the Optimus Keyboard, but it's smaller and only has three keys (who'd have guessed.)

Featuring the same organic LED (OLED) technology, the Mini Three will allow control of software via a configurator application. Through the configurator, the three key displays can be updated (as rapid as 5 times per second) depending on what the system is doing and what software is running. The Mini Three could conceivably be used for launching your favourite apps from the desktop, or selecting particular tools or menu options within particular programs. Indeed, that's the angle the studio's website is taking, showing off a number of possible ideas.

The keyboard will be available for pre-order some time this week, at an introductory price of $100, which will go up on April 2nd. The studio expects the product to ship on May 15th.

Mini Three

With three 90x90 OLED displays, the keys are bigger than that of a letter key on a keyboard. Perhaps production of this simpler model will setup Art. Lebedev Studio for production of the full shebang, allowing them to overcome any issues such as how well the parts survive under such usage.

Speculating a little, if the Mini Three's 90x90 keys are being updated five times a second, then a quick number crunch suggests that's around 15kB/sec of data going to the device. Create a full sized Optimus and that works out in the region of 600kB/s. So, the USB 1 controller used by the Mini Three could conceivably still work for big bro. Of course, Art. Lebedev might go for a different approach, but it's fun for us to sit and work out what it takes the drive such a device.

The configurator software for the device, which supports macros and other keystroke-emulating functions, will be available initially for Microsoft Windows, with Mac OS X and Linux variants appearing after that.

So, finally we're a step closer to getting some Optimus action. About time too.

HEXUS.links

Art. Lebedev Studio :: Optimus Mini Three product page.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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Very nice :)
And there was me thinking that this might be a Transformers story…
Splash
And there was me thinking that this might be a Transformers story…
Me too.

That still looks pretty sweet. If they can rig it right it would be oretty damn sweet, not sure if its worth 60 quid though.
I dunno, I think there's a real demand for it…


OK, OK…look, someone had to do it… :D
Speculating a little, if the Mini Three's 90x90 keys are being updated five times a second, then a quick number crunch suggests that's around 15kB/sec of data going to the device. Create a full sized Optimus and that works out in the region of 600kB/s. So, the USB 1 controller used by the Mini Three could conceivably still work for big bro. Of course, Art. Lebedev might go for a different approach, but it's fun for us to sit and work out what it takes the drive such a device.

I think the way around this is to have a quantity of on-board flash ram built into the keyboard to store all your settings, keyboard themes etc, which should then take care of what happens if you plug it into a different computer etc..