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Wednesday February 1, 2006 2:52 pm

Art Lebedev Optimus Mini Three Officially Announced

Posted by John Goulden Categories: Accessories, Features, Peripherals

Optimus Mini Three

Imagine if you will a keyboard that changes the look of its keys to fit the software you are using.  Such a keyboard could be used in any country with no modification as the keys could display whatever character set is required by the local language.  The possibilities are endless.  Gear Live first reported on such an amazing device back in July, 2005, and the concept was met with equal amounts of curiosity, disbelief, and a passionate


want to have one.  Time passed and eventually we were rewarded with a tidbit of information that “Good things come in small packages”, a few sample pictures of a 3-key device and a teaser date of February 1, 2006.  The date has finally arrived and product availability and pricing have been announced although its not quite what everyone was hoping for…yet.  The initial concept was for a full-sized keyboard with tiny OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens replacing the top of each key at a price “less than a good mobile phone”.

Every company with a great idea has to start somewhere, and Art Lebedev Studio chose to start with a smaller scale device - the Optimus Mini Three.  The Mini Three will utilize 3 keys, each with a 20x20mm (96x96 pixels) OLED display capable of a 5 second refresh rate.  The tiny OLED displays have a lifespan of 5000 hours (roughly 208 days if used non-stop) and will have a screen saving mode to extend their life.  Although the Optimus Mini Three is currently shipping with Windows-based configuration software only, the company expects to release versions for MacOS and Linux shortly thereafter.  Three keys is a bit limiting (six would have been better), so shift states have been implemented which will allow the keys to display other functions.  Even though shift states aren’t going to speed up the use of shortcuts (what normally would take one hand will now take two), they will make the Mini Three more useful to some extent. 

The keyboard will be available for pre-order later this week at a price of $100 with an expected ship date of May 15th.  Modders, early-adopters, and gadget freaks rejoice.

Read More | Art Lebedev Studio

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