Art Lebedev design studio, an ambitious company that designs keyboards with integrated screens inside keys, said that the first batch of the Optimus Maximus keyboards will have limitations in case of functionality and may be supplied only in 2008. The good news is that end-users will be able to update software and firmware of Optimus Maximus to add functionality.
“[First batch] orders will be shipping from December to January, depending on production speed. New lot is set to arrive in the second part of February 2008,” said Artemy Lebedev, the head of the design studio
A little earlier it transpired that Art Lebedev was afraid of OLED screens shortages and also did not have a final version of the driver for its highly-discussed Optimus Maximus keyboard as of early November. Moreover, production of the hardware still has not started due to the fact that the developer is still finalizing the keyboard that costs $1564 a unit.
“Hardware is almost ready. First keyboards to be shipped will be somewhat functionally limited, but we’ll release firmware updates every month or so in the beginning, letting users to upgrade their keyboards,” Mr. Lebedev said.
Optimus Maximus is a full-sized 113-keys keyboard with colour OLED screens located inside each key. The screens are 10.1mm² large and have 48x48 pixels resolution, according to its developers. Specially designed software will be able to change images on the colour screens depending on the program running.
The company planned to ship the first batch, or 200 pieces, of Optimus Maximus starting the 30th of November. The company also promised that in December, 2007 and January, 2008 it will ship another 200 and 400 units, respectively. The schedule has been changed with no new schedule unveiled.