As the vaunted Optimus keyboard nears completion, its creator announces yet another input device. It plugs into your video card.
Having now released a three-button keyboard, Artemy Lebedev, the company behind the much talked-about Optimus keyboard, is announcing yet another partial keyboard before the real deal goes gold early next year.
Named the Optimus Upravlator, this next widget is apparently a "completely new kind of input device."
From the information available, it appears to consist of nine large (~5cm square) buttons, each featuring a customisable, colour display. There will also be an optional stand on which it can be mounted.
Intriguingly, the Upravlator input device will receive its display information directly from your video card rather than via USB. It plugs directly into "your second monitor port," apparently to reduce the display lag down to that of a standard LCD monitor.
Aimed at the media professional, the Upravlator will be the "single best friend of any music engineer or video editor," says 'tema' on Artemy Lebedev's new Optimus blog. "Graphic designers should be happy as well."
If you're unaware of the full-sized Optimus keyboard, it's quite out of the ordinary. Each key's face contains a miniature monitor that displays either what the key does or, in fact, whatever the user desires.
Not only can you assign certain actions to the keys in applications, as with an ordinary keyboard, but you can finally display a relevant image, or even an animation, on the key itself.
Much like an opposing number pad, the Optimus will also sport an additional ten programmable buttons on the left.
Concern still surrounds the price of the Optimus, however. It will apparently "cost less than a good mobile phone." Hopefully not one of those diamond-encrusted ones.
The Optimus Mini Three -- the keyboard with only three buttons -- is selling for a pretty steep US$159.96. For that price you get to do things such as play pong at three frames per second on three 96 x 96 pixel OLED displays.
Interestingly, it has been announced that the Optimus keyboard's replaceable keys will no longer feature OLEDs, opting instead to use something else for the myriad 32 x 32 pixel resolution displays. Cost-cutting, perhaps?
With the Optimus now said to be in production, pre-orders from the eager are slated to be taken sometime in December.
It just might transform your wallet into a black hole.
Oh, I went there.