Art Lebedev, a design studio from Russia primarily known for its Optimus keyboards with in-key screens, has unveiled a concept of its Optimus Popularis keyboard, which should become more affordable than existing Optimus Maximus and make the concept of keyboards with in-key screens more widespread overall.
The chief of the studio – Artemy Lebedev – said that the new Optimus Popularis keyboard features one large touch-screen underneath primary keys. The predecessor of Popularis – Optimus Maximus – featured OLED screens inside each key, but since it costs a lot to make, end-users have to pay more than $1800 for a single keyboard.
Optimus Popularis looks considerably smaller than Optimus Maximus and also uses different shape of keys, which is akin to those used on Apple MakBook notebooks.
The developer did not reveal when Optimus Popularis is set to hit the market, but earlier this year Artemy Lebedev said that the goal was to have sample of the product this year with production start in late 2008 or early 2009.
“Our goal this year is to create a prototype of a keyboard with transparent keys overlaid on a single display. Production should start later this year, or in the beginning if 2009,” said the chief of the studio.