A transformer, but not that kind

  • Compact, infinitely customizable keyboard
  • 77 programmable keys, plus a function key for switching and a display bar
  • Automatically switch between different layouts depending on the current OS language or active application
  • Read more...

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A transformer, but not that kind

Just as all our screens are transitioning to touchscreens - watch a toddler interact with a desktop computer monitor and you'll know what we mean - Art Lebedev has turned the bits of the computer we're used to touching (the keyboard) into a screen. Well, more precisely, he's turned it into a screen that lights up 78 different ways, exactly you want it to.

Meet the Optimus Popularis, a keyboard which transforms into your toolbox for every application. Each of its 77 keys shows a half-inch-square display of your choosing and does what you want it to, programmed through a piece of software called the Configurator. So if you're in Excel a lot, you can plug one of your macros right into a key for easy access. It's basically 77 customizable shortcut keys with coordinating display for each application you want to program.

And the area between the numeral keys and the function keys, which we currently use as a crumb catcher or a place to put our pen and then subsequently lose it, becomes a display bar. Let it show which keyboard layout you're in. Let it show timely push updates from various applications, like weather services, stock tickers, server alerts. Let it show in 262,144 vivid colors the crumbs that would have been there were it not.

If all this configuring seems like a lot of work to you, then you're probably not the target audience. Who is? Application power users who find themselves frustrated by having to use time-consuming and hand-off-the-keyboard menuing systems. People who frequently write in more than one alphabet. People who use a lot of special characters in their daily jobs.

Product Specifications

  • Compact, infinitely customizable keyboard
  • 77 programmable keys, plus a function key for switching and a display bar
  • Engineered for any layout, language, or symbols: Cyrillic, Ancient Greek, Georgian, Arabic, music notes, numerals, codes, math functions, images, special symbols, etc.
  • Ideal for people who frequently write in more than one alphabet and folks who publish materials with special characters
  • Automatically switch between different layouts depending on the current OS language or active application
  • LCD key display - 7" TN panel with LED backlighting
  • Each key visible area: .5" square
  • Resolution: 72×72 pixels
  • Frame rate: min 10 frames per second
  • Colors: 262,144
  • Materials: Aluminum, plastic
  • Dimensions: Length 11.5", width 7.3", height .7"
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs.
  • System requirements: Windows XP or higher, Mac OS X 10.8 or higher, and a USB port

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