The global economic crisis has shifted plans of many companies. Apparently, Art Lebedev, a popular design studio from Russia, is among the firms, who have to change their plans and delay the launch of certain products. However, as things are getting better, certain new items are back in the roadmap: Art Lebedev on Monday said it would finally release its new keyboard this year.
“Recent financial crisis influenced our production plans. Optimus Popularis is delayed for this very reason. Now everything is more or less predictable, so we are going to develop new products this year. […] This year, before the release of our new dream - Optimus Popularis - we will release the smaller version based on the same technology as a big model. Currently it is called Optimus Mini Six. There will be six display keys, as one may guess,” said Artemy Lebedev, the head of the studio, in a blog post.
Art Lebedev presented the first concept of Optimus Popularis in mid-2008 and promised to start its production in late 2008 or early 2009. The company did not initiate manufacturing of the keyboard either in 2008 or 2009, unveiled a new Popularis concept in late June, 2010, and again failed to ship the device in 2010. Nonetheless, this time Art Lebedev promises to finally release its keyboard with screens inside each key at sub-$1000 price-point in 2010.
The Optimus Popularis keyboard will resemble that of a notebook and will feature neither programmable keys nor extra keys for computing. Besides, the size of the keys themselves (the size of the foundation) will also be shrunk to 15mm x 15mm from 20mm x 20mm of the original Optimus Maximus. However, since Optimus Popularis will have different form of the keys and short travel distance, 15x15mm keys should be rather comfortable to use. In addition, the new keys will have “screens” with 64x64 pixels resolution, up from 48x48 on the Maximus.
The keyboard will be based on a large touch-screen with keys installed above it.