Slated to initially release in 2006, the final version of the Optimus Maximus keyboard has been delayed yet again and is now slated for a February 2008 launch, which marks around a 2-years delay than the original release date. Not only has the launch been postponed but even the price has gone up drastically. During its 2006 release it was supposed to be available at a price of about a decent mobile phone and now there are reports that it will be steeply priced, as much as the cost of a high-end business PC.
Developed by Russian design studio Art Lebedev, the Optimus Maximus keyboard is apparently being delayed because of the lack of an apt firmware or software. Since the keyboard is ready from the hardware angle, the company doesn’t really mind shipping it to those who pre-ordered them, but the problem is that they would have to install the new firmware as and when it is finalized; so in all this stands to be quite a dangerous and tedious affair.
Artemy Lebedev, head of the design studio stated, “If experience and patience is not a problem for you, we are ready to offer prompt delivery of Optimus Maximus. The fact is that easy update of firmware will be possible only as the next version [of firmware] appears. So before that replacing the current firmware version with the next one is likely to present certain difficulties. If you do not
Art Lebedev’s Optimus Maximus keyboard is a full-sized 113-keys keyboard incorporating color OLED screens located inside each key. Apparently the screens are 10.1mm² large and have 48×48 pixels resolution. An exclusively developed software will be able to change images on the color screens depending on the program running.
Now if you shell out $462.27 your keyboard will only have one “active button,” and it’s the space bar, by paying $599.01 you get the 10 function buttons on the side active, $999.25 will give you just the letter keys active, and an enormous $1,564.37 will give you all the 113 buttons active.
Lebedev is in the works of demonstrating the Optimus Maximus keyboard at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2008.