updated 04:00 pm EDT, Tue May 20, 2008
Optimus Popularis Keyboard
Art Lebedev Studio's namesake founder today provided first details of Optimus Popularis, a new model in the company's lineup of display keyboards. Presented only as a mockup so far, the Popularis is billed as a smaller alternative to the Maximus that will shrink the design by moving the programmable keys to the top and shrinking the overall size of the keys themselves.
Costs will be shaved primarily by switching away from OLED; Lebedev doesn't explain what will replace the standard but promises a "totally different principle" behind the keyboard, suggesting a more advanced or unique approach to giving each key a display that can be reprogrammed on the fly for different apps and operating systems.
The keyboard is still too early in its design phase to be given a release date but is already projected to have a price below $1,000; the current Maximus keyboard sells for approximately $462 and thus hints that the Popularis may have more advanced features than its ancestor.