Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Optimus Keyboard With OLED Display Keys 540

Koskun writes "What appears to be a Russian design company has on their website a keyboard in which the keys are using OLED to display what function the keys represent. The product is Art. Lebedev Studio's Optimus Keyboard. The uses of this could be amazing. They have pictures of layouts for Photoshop and Quake, as well as a QWERTY and Russian. Here's hoping that this will make it to a production model and not just a design model."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Optimus Keyboard With OLED Display Keys

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:54PM (#13065014)
    Coral Cache Link [nyud.net]

    It's not even a "design model". It's a "rendered model". Sweet concept. You'd spend a bloody fortune on 116 individual color OLED displays - in several sizes - and all the circuitry, interfacing, and drivers to run them. I see that they are Macintosh fans, though.
    • by Gnascher ( 645346 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:59PM (#13065107)
      It's a great idea ... but utterly fake.

      These guys are digital artists ... not keyboard manufacturers.

      It's a really neat idea, and one that may even some day be created. I'd imagine that it would be prohibitively expensive to do today though.
    • I see that they are Macintosh fans, though.

      Yes, but I'll try not to hold it against them. It's a really nice looking design concept.

    • by drgonzo59 ( 747139 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:27PM (#13065486)
      Yeah but still they can get the patent on it first then they can start thinking about production. That is why it is just a design studio not a hardware company. I am sure this would look interesting to people at Alienware or Belkin or even Microsoft. It is good for games, would be great for an IDE, or Photoshop and many other uses.

      Actually I just thought of another idea, why not use the keyboard as a small console display as well. This could be used as a portable console in administering and fixing rack-mounted servers. The keyboard can have a small screen that will show about 10-20 lines of a terminal and also the keys would dynamically change to reflect various connection and management functions. For example after pressing "F1" the layout of the keyboard changes and now the keys to reflect a new submenu. If the key is not pressed but just slightly touched the console will display a short help message.

      This would be one expensive keyboard but people who have the money to blow might be interested...

      • And suddenly you are well on your way to an early version of the LCARS [lcars-terminal.net] interface ;)

      • I would argue that the overlays shown in the Star Trek USS Enterprise Bridge Blueprints (a copy of which I purchased back in Sept '82) says, "Shows Every Button of Every Station and Their Functions: Complete Set of 10 Accurate 17" x 22" Blueprints of the Primary Bridge", (these drawings were drawn by Michael McMaster) could be considered precursors to this. The first set was drawn October 76. The STTNG console, as described by Michael Okuda and Wil Wheaton are a leap of generations past "Trek Classic."

    • e-Ink (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cryptochrome ( 303529 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:32PM (#13065534) Journal
      I think e-ink would be a cheaper, less power-hungry option for the keys. Also, making the keys contoured would be a good idea.
    • Sweet concept.

      Not terribly practical, though, even if they put it into production.

      How many times did you look at your keyboard while you typed your post, really? In the middle of an intense FPS shootout, do you really need to know which key you configured to switch from the rocket launcher to grenades? Do you really have to check the keyboard shortcut for "Copy" in your text editor of choice?

      No, me neither.

      This is a fun idea, sure, and might have some genuine use in a few niches, but I doubt it'

      • by conigs ( 866121 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:56PM (#13065782) Homepage
        I beg to differ that this is not practical. This would be especially useful to video editors or anyone in media that uses a shit-ton of keyboard hotkeys/shortcuts. Take video for example... Avid and FCP keyboards are all over the place. Imagine having a kayboard like this which avid or fcp could send the user's keyboard layout to, and presto! Instant, accurate representation of all the keyboard short-cuts. This is far better than buying a pre-manufactured keyboard that has the shortcuts printed on the keys... especially if you change the layout (as many do on avid and fcp and many other programs).
      • by Ced_Ex ( 789138 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @03:21PM (#13066049)
        What about multilanguage keyboards?

        Not everyone uses the Roman Alphanumerics system. Arabic and Asian languages come to mind.

        Plus, it would be cool to see what keys are mapped in games like the old school MechWarrior where you had to use pretty much every key.
      • by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) * on Thursday July 14, 2005 @03:26PM (#13066104) Journal
        Do you really have to check the keyboard shortcut for "Copy" in your text editor of choice?

        Ask Logitech and Microsoft. They seem to think that the F-keys are a playground. Thus, odd-shaped F-keys, tiny F-keys, and the ever-dreaded F-Lock, which leaves unsuspecting users wondering why F7 didn't send "Ready!" over the team channel.

        They think users are so stupid and/or lazy, that they need a button on the keyboard to launch Excel, regardless of the number of start menu/quick launch/desktop shortcuts Office places on install. Meanwhile, those of us with 1/16 of a clue are left double-checking the F-Lock LED all the time, because we'd rather get into the BIOS setup than try to launch Outlook Express before the bloody boot loader is read off the hard drive!

        Can you tell this is a pet peeve? My pre-F-Lock Logitech keyboard is becoming more precious by the minute. I'll be damned if I let these marketing-addled fools turn my Step Into Function debugger key into a PowerPoint launcher.

      • by _damnit_ ( 1143 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @03:54PM (#13066353) Journal
        When I saw this, the first thing I thought of was the Internet cafe I sat at near Place de Bastille in Paris. It took me a long time to write the simple email I needed to get off because I had no clue where the keys were on a French Keyboard. It occasionally did some strange stuff. Touch typing is out too! Something like this where a single button on the side could change the keyboard to several languages would be great even in the states where English really isn't the only language spoken (even though we tend to think so).
        Hell, the computer labs in school could use this for French, Spanish and other language labs. You know how hard it is to write a French paper without easy access to a cedilla or other diacritic marks?
      • by Excelsior ( 164338 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @06:51PM (#13067966)
        This is a fun idea, sure, and might have some genuine use in a few niches, but I doubt it's going anywhere as a mainstream idea.

        Nothing like thinking completely within the box. Free your mind, my friend.

        How about an application that changes your keyboard functions as you proceed through steps? For instance, using an IDE, different key functions would show when I'm editing or debugging.

        What if you had toggle keys that, when pressed, the keyboard would show you a visual indication of a completely different set of key-functions? So your keyboard is in its normal state most of the time, but gives you alternate setups as you request them.

        What if in games, when you get shot, your keyboard pulses red. When you swim, your keyboard looks like water, with bubbles floating past. Keys show pictures of the weapons they would switch you to, and how much ammo they hold. Keys show the spells they would cast.

        What if applications and desktops could now eliminate widgets because a key can be set to represent them as needed? No more row of buttons at the top of every web browser, word processor, and email client. Perhaps they could add a row of keys along the top of the keyboard to replace the window taskbar. These buttons would show your apps, and you could press them to minimize windows, restore them, or bring them to the front.

        Or, we could just keep thinking in the box, poo-pooing ideas, and leave the innovation to others.
  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:54PM (#13065018) Homepage
    A prime idea, that.
  • Well, it is definitely an impressive keyboard. I'm sure there are UI designers looking at this thing and having seizures as we speak. I know if it had some durability, spill resistance, and was =$250 I'd pick one up for my next machine.

    In any case, the keys don't look like they are OLED. They look just like regular backlit LCD (maybe LED backlit). Any OLED experts want to chime in on this?
  • I'd be very curious of what one of these would cost though. any ideas?
  • Wow! Looked at the pictures, very attractive!

    So, eye-candy aside:

    • Is it reliable (how many keystrokes is it designed for lifetime?)?
    • Is it comfortable, is the key travel and feel well done?
    • (for me), Is it reasonably quiet? (I'd really like to find a nice silent keyboard, but at least it has to be about 20 db quieter than the monolith I'm banging away on right now (at a friend's house).)
    • last, but for me most importantly, are the pretty pictures on the left-hand column of keys configurable? There's n
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:08PM (#13065260)
      (for me), Is it reasonably quiet?

      All quiet keyboards I've ever had always turned out to be utter crap. Right now, I'm banging away on a IBM Modem M keyboard [scoutingaround.com] that is still doing fine after years of typing (obviously) but also coffee spilling (hot and cold), heavy banging, hurling across the room, and sitting on. Some of the heavily used keys are so worn out that the plastic surface feels smooth and the etching has gone, but it's still doing fine. These things sure were made to last.

      I've long since forgotten about the incredible racket noises it makes. My cat loves the feel and clicks when he stretches on it though, apparently.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "Some of the heavily used keys are so worn out that the plastic surface feels smooth and the etching has gone"

        The BBC Micro [heydon.org] had injection moulded keys with the glyphs running right through the key. After ten years the keys were smooth but still as legible as the day it was bought. A lovely keyboard.

    • by snorklewacker ( 836663 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:08PM (#13065262)
      > last, but for me most importantly, are the pretty pictures on the left-hand column of keys configurable?

      No. After all, the whole point of a super-expensive keyboard with keys that can dynamically change their labels is to hardwire their function in. It was just cheaper to use an OLED display than to silkscreen them on.

      You even rip off the MS menu keys on your work PC? Just ... wow.
    • last, but for me most importantly, are the pretty pictures on the left-hand column of keys configurable? There's no way in Hell I'm ever buying a keyboard with a picture of the IE icon on one of its keys! For less expensive keyboards I satisfied and content with ripping out the Microsoft menu keys (though it's landed me in hot water at work a couple of times), but for something this (probably) expensive, those pictures had better be configurable!

      I gte the distinct impression that since the keys are displ

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) * on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:55PM (#13065033)
    Since all of our jobs are being outsourced to other countries, this keyboard will be perfect for public schools where they will need to teach children to function in the wonderful world of order-taking at fast food restaurants on those nifty little picture-only cash-registers..
    • Sadly true. These things need to be able to be locked into QWERTY for new users otherwise they'll never learn to touchtype. I would love one of these things, but I'm wondering if it might fare better as a panel of buttons to go alongside a keyboard, like a bigger numpad.
  • Even with mass market production, this sucker would have to be expensive, dontcha think?

    I'll take my $15 USB keyboard thank you - although I'm starting to wish I had a better ergonomic alternative!
  • by bc90021 ( 43730 ) * <bc90021@@@bc90021...net> on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:55PM (#13065041) Homepage
    It will be handier and handier to have virtual keyboards, and in fact, they obviously already exist [alpern.org].

    However, soon enough, as with other inventions, it just may be that we get a glass panel in front of us, and the display/input conforms to the user and his/her function, instead of the other way around. ;)

  • by shadowknot ( 853491 ) * on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:56PM (#13065047) Homepage Journal
    If anyone reading works for Logitech or some other big peripheral manufacturer please let your R&D department know about this and maybe they can license the design and technology from the good people at art.lebedev [artlebedev.com].

    But seriously this technology could have huge implications for the future of peripheral manufacturing (on the high-end at least) purely because you can have it as QWERTY, AZERTY, DVORAK or any other english, arabic, cyrillic, sanscrit, klingon or other layout!

    For the cheapskates there's always Das Keyboard! [thinkgeek.com]

    • Technology? As far as I can tell, these are just pure concept renderings, with the "Patents Pending" referring to the idea and design, not the actual function. Notice how almost everything else on the site has a date attached to indicate when the product will be available for consumption. Not so with this one.
    • Das Keyboard (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mattdm ( 1931 )
      For the cheapskates there's always Das Keyboard!!

      Well, it isn't exactly cheap, but it is actually really nice. My keyboard at work had one too many coffees spilled on it, so I asked for Das Keyboard for the replacement. I was anticipating a little adjustment period, but there really wasn't any. It takes zero extra effort to type -- my fingers apparently know where all the keys are -- and the weighting and feel of the keys is excellent. The only problem I have is when I'm working on something else and want
  • FlickerKey (Score:2, Funny)

    by el_jake ( 22335 )
    Can't wait to watch my favorit divx on the Windoze key !
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:57PM (#13065073)
    Cool, not only could viruses switch what appears on your screen when you type you could also wake up and find a huge picture of goatse on your keyboard.
    • You could install a keyboard game like Whack-a-mole, and the user unwittingly types in code to destroy their own system.

    • Cool, not only could viruses switch what appears on your screen when you type you could also wake up and find a huge picture of goatse on your keyboard.

      Goatse keyboard virus effect on the cheap! --> look carefully at the three adjacent I, O and P keys, squint a bit, and you can just about see the hands of the goatse guy stretching the, erhm, "O".
  • geez... (Score:5, Funny)

    by JoeLinux ( 20366 ) <joelinux&gmail,com> on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:57PM (#13065076) Homepage
    I'll bet you the latest spyware would get the ability to run banner ads through the keyboard. "Hit the monkey now!"
  • How can a Brit purchase one of these keyboards? Considering the recent trend of credit card data being "misplaced" or outright stolen, I will not purchase items online from foreign sellers. But you cannot find these speciality keyboards in most large retail stores like Maxwell Technology or Circuits Domain. So while I would like to purchase them, I fear I cannot.
  • Comment + mirror (Score:5, Interesting)

    by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:58PM (#13065095) Homepage Journal
    It looks like most of their portfolio makes it into production, but I can't
    help but wonder just how much a keyboard like this would cost?

    Also, OLED's have a short life. 1-2 years.

    Mirror here [networkmirror.com]
    • That's funny...my LG cell phone is two years old and the OLED's work fine. Different colors fail at different rates. Blue supposedly goes first. In any event, the keyboard could turn itself off when your screensaver is activated to extend the life of the OLEDs. You could probably get 5 years out of the keyboard that way and 5 years is good enough for most people.
  • As soon as the HHK is equipped it's mine.
  • I can't imagine... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Thursday July 14, 2005 @01:59PM (#13065111)
    How this thing won't have a manufacturing cost around $3-4 a key...

    That said... If they build these and they have good action, I'll drop $500 on one.
  • by ScArE2100 ( 663201 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:00PM (#13065120) Journal
    This is an amazing idea for international users at public terminals. Just sit down and select your character set and you're off and running with a keyboard taylored to your needs. I forsee this being in airports and trainstations; even somewhat computer illiterate people could use it to be able to seemlessly type in there language.

    Although the price might render this idea problematic...
  • Lottsa uses for this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr. Cancelled ( 572486 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:00PM (#13065128)
    But the one that intrigues me the most is the fact that I share a keyboard between a Mac and a PC using Synergy, and the keys aren't mapped identically between both machines. This would be very handy to have my keyboard visually show me what's what, dependant upon which computer has the keyboards focus at that time.

    Not to mention that I'm a shortcut junkie, and a visual kinda guy... This has "productivity increase" written all over it!

    But the bad news is that the keyboard appears to be just a prototype at this point. Hopefully demand will quickly bring it to market soon! (preferably at less than $200 - It looks kinda expensive). There's a rather good thread on it over at digg, from earlier today.
  • ...could drive the OLEDs. So if I switched from Firefox to OpenOffice the keys would automatically adjust themselves. This way we could leave to the application developers to interface their apps to something in the OS. This would be the future version of creating icons for your application or an extension of it.
  • ...for a keyboard with some sort of dynamically-assigned logo on the keys. Not anything fancy, a 5*7 monochrome LCD logo per key would be great, I don't need the fancy colors and shortcuts.

    My need is to be able to see the keys when I type with a foreign keytable. My keyboard is US qwerty, but whenever I type in French or German, since I learned to write these languages using native keytables, I have to switch to azerty or qwertz, which is mostly fine with the US keyboard since I don't look at the keys, but
    • My good man, why do you not just purchase traditional French and German keyboards?
      • I have French and German keyboard. Occasionally, when I know I'll be typing for an extended period of time in French or German, I power off and switch keyboard.

        I did try to have several keyboards connected, but it turns out it's not so great: I could either:

        - daisy-chain keyboards on the PS/2 connectors, which doesn't work well because (1) they draw too much current and (2) all keyboards receive the PC codes, while only one is concerned by them, and it messes up the other keyboards' internal states

        - use
  • by concept10 ( 877921 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:01PM (#13065148) Homepage
    .. Is this just a proof of concept vaporware?

    I didnt see anything about purchase information.
  • As cool as this is (and as much as I want one so badly), the same effect has been achieved already with the Ideazon Zboard [tinyurl.com]. You can basically take keyplates off and put other ones on there, and they have plates for all sorts of applications and games.
    • I think "sort of" is the key phrase there. I think there's a big difference between something like a keyboard which uses some sort of OLED/LCD to change the characters/symbols on the keyboard automatically and something like the Zboard which requires you to actually just replace the physical keys with different keysets. Certainly the "idea" is the same, but the actual practical differences between these two approaches to this basic idea are enough that I wouldn't really say it's "already been done", sort
  • Prefer normal one (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mfloy ( 899187 )
    If you ask me, I prefer the good old fashion keyboards with no special buttons, lights, whistles or what-not. Those keyboards seem like they would be fun until the lights stop working.
  • Woo-Hoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by hellomynameisclinton ( 796928 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:04PM (#13065187)
    I can finally get past the second step - I'll have an ANY KEY!
  • neat, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by greywire ( 78262 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:05PM (#13065207) Homepage
    This would have to be ungodly expensive for a keyboard. OLED's are definately the way to go, though, because LCD's (especialy in color) are way to bulky and expensive (each key would need a light source, lcd, and a driver chip). With an OLED, if I am not mistaken, you can have the whole display and drivers on one piece. No glass panels, no backlight.

    Still, until OLEDs are in mass (*MASS*) production, I dont see producing a keyboard like this for a reasonable price for some time yet.

    For all the people thinking "OH NO! this would be way to confusing! Bad, bad idea for UI design..".. what's the problem? We have windows full of icons now. What's the difference in putting some icons onto a keyboard? With something like photoshop I could see this being a real time saver. And I bet you will start to use and remember keyboard shortcuts much more often with this, since you only need to look, where now you have to hunt around and find out what the shortcut is..
  • by whovian ( 107062 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:06PM (#13065226)
    There really could be an 'Any' key.
  • My pants just got sticky.
  • Hmmm... well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    I don't want to dis the (obviously) pretty good designers of Art. Lebedev Studio, but do we have a proof that this is even a prototype? For all I see it may just as well be a great idea with a good design, created in Maya (or whatever). Prety picture != real (or even conceivable) product.

    Keyboard design needed something like this for a long time now, but will it ever become a real market product?
  • "Patents pending"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:08PM (#13065258) Homepage Journal

    I sure hope the patent applies only to high-resolution or color displays inside the keyboard, as many Slashdot users have "published" (in patent jargon) a description of a reconfigurable keyboard with a small (e.g. 8x8 pixel) monochrome LCD under each key.

    • Just out of curiosity, do you have some examples of this? The reason I ask is that the basic idea (some sort of LCD under each key to allow for a reconfigurable keyboard) is something that had occurred to me a couple of years ago, and I was reading this article now and thinking "Damn, I wish I had actually tried to do something with the idea". I wouldn't feel nearly so bad if it turns out this is something other people have talked about doing before, and hence not such an original idea.
  • Anyway. I've always thought of a musical MIDI keyboard with glowing keys.

    Why? You give it the music, and it can teach you to play a specific piece of music. Just put your hands on the glowing keys, and ta-da! :)
  • OLED? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pyrosz ( 469177 ) <amurray&stage11,ca> on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:12PM (#13065315) Homepage
    I would think that the new e-paper technologies would be better suited as they maintain the image with the power off. This would enable the keyboard to only use power while the keys are changed (or if they are animated), and of course the wireless portion would use power.

    If they get these out on the market (using e-paper tech) for under $300 CAN I would buy one asap.
    • Re:OLED? (Score:3, Funny)

      by RobertB-DC ( 622190 ) *
      I would think that the new e-paper technologies would be better suited as they maintain the image with the power off.

      Now there's a real-world problem.

      Tech Support: Welcome to Bombay Computer Support, how may I help you?

      Consumer: When I turn on my computer, it says 'BIOS ERROR, Press F1 to configure'.

      TS: What happens when you press the F1 key?

      Con: I don't have an F1 key! My keyboard is blank!

      TS: Tell your roommate to give you back your key caps.

      Con: ?!?
  • Think of the potential for fun and humor in customizing the keyboard. Well don't just think of it, post it.

    Here's one: Oscillating 1337 keymap

  • My concerns (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Penguin Programmer ( 241752 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:12PM (#13065319) Homepage
    This looks like a very, very cool idea. However, I have a major concern that would need to be satisfied before I would buy one: Drivers.

    I'm a dedicated Linux user and I think that the complexity of the drivers required for a keyboard like this might mean that a Linux driver doesn't appear right away (I mean, what are the chances of them releasing one, and we all know how long it takes for community-started open-source drivers to become stable, although they're quicker now than ever). Also, that driver had better not put any load on my CPU or memory. I have better things to do with those.

    That said, when an open-source driver for it does emerge, you know it'll do all sorts of cool stuff. For those of us who don't need to look at the keys anyway, it could be programmed to show movies while I'm typing instead.
  • WoW would be great with this! Chuckled a bit when I saw the "Quake" idea, first thing I thought of was binding the keys to macros on World of Warcraft, this would just be so much better than an action bar and/or remembering what you mapped all your keys to.

    I'd definitely pay for this keyboard, even if it were $200+
  • by Webmonger ( 24302 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:14PM (#13065347) Homepage
    That's got to be the widest 'standard' keyboard I've ever seen in my life! Where will our obsession with function keys end? First the PC/XT layout put them on the left-hand side, then the AT layout put them along the top.

    This keyboard combines the two, so now we've got function keys across the top and (different ones) down the left, plus a numeric keypad that is completely redundant with other number and arrow keys.

    Where will it end? Will we someday be pair programming with both programmers working the keyboard and telling each other which keys to hit? Will fights break out over who gets to press 'Y' and 'B'?

    I'm sure there are children whose arms won't reach both ends of this thing! Won't someone please think of the children?
    • Where will it end? Will we someday be pair programming with both programmers working the keyboard and telling each other which keys to hit? Will fights break out over who gets to press 'Y' and 'B'?

      I predict that they will breed programmers with six or more fingers on each hand, and only they will be able to properly use future keyboards.

  • As far as I can tell, OLED's are not the right tech. Oughta look into E-Ink type displays-- refresh rate is slower, but quite livable since you wouldn't switch layouts all that often. Also, current needs only be applied when changing the image, so even when the system was offline you'd have labelled keys.

    Hrm... how cool would it be to have peoples' keyboards unexpectedly start spelling "All your bases are..." throughout the company...

  • So much for touch typing (without looking).... though I presume you'd still be used to standards sets for 'normal' use.

    wonder what the 'feel' is like? that matters.

    have to admit, the displays are pretty cool looking, but I'd sure hate to think what happens to it when you spill your coffee into it... ;-)

  • Useless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:29PM (#13065502)
    How completely useless for us touch typists.

    Also, if you need to look down to see what key does what in an FPS game (Quake (III?) is depicted) you're already dead.
    • Re:Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hektor_Troy ( 262592 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @03:12PM (#13065956)
      Sure. I can touchtype, and I've been able to do that for the last 13 years at least. But it'd still be VERY handy.

      When I'm using a new program, I'd love for my keyboard to show me what keys do what. Hold down shift and a new set of functions pop up on the keyboard. Other modifiers and you get more.

      Touch typing is useless when you don't know that pressing Ctrl+Shift+Space will do what you're trying to find in Tools->More->Neat->Macro->Experimental->Do not touch.

      Or are you just somehow magically able to know just what each and every key combination does in a program you've never used before?
  • by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:33PM (#13065546)
    Doubleclick.net/etc and others exploit IE security loopholes and deliver little click-here icon ads to your keyboard without you asking.

    Or, visit a page with a banner, and watch the whole "click the monkey" or "Shoot the duck" bannergame display in your function key row, begging you to hit the right key to win that iPod.

  • by SomeoneGotMyNick ( 200685 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @02:39PM (#13065608) Journal
    We just use tiny little slide projectors behind each key. When you hear this sound: "Bink!", go to the next key image.

    It costs a fortune changing all those light bulbs though, but it keeps your fingers warm.
  • OLED prices (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bperkins ( 12056 ) on Thursday July 14, 2005 @03:24PM (#13066077) Homepage Journal
    Everyone thinks that this would be expensice. but does anyone out here actually know what OLED prices are for something like this?

    If it's feasible to integrate the OLED and the display driver using all organic semiconductors, maybe this isn't as expensive an idea as people think. The first screens don't necessarily have to have super fast refresh rates.

    After all, most of the tiny screens are identical, and my best guess is that OLED production costs go as the area of the screen, which isn't really that large in this case. If one manages to combine the push signal, display signal and the OLED power in two wires, the wiring wouldn't be much more complex than a standard keyboard.

Some people carve careers, others chisel them.