RE: Optimus keyboard in the news

From: Don Osborn (
Date: Sat Apr 28 2007 - 17:26:07 CST

  • Next message: William J Poser: "Optimus keyboard"

    Hi Philippe, Marnen, all,

    Yes this was supposed to have made its debut last year but did not. The
    Lebedev site has a page of "press clippings" - links to articles over the
    last couple of years (in several languages) - for anyone wanting details on
    the delays .

    Everyone remarks the high price and it's indeed hard to imagine who will
    actually buy it (regrettably I don't run in those circles). The point though
    is that all of these technologies eventually come way down in price so that,
    for instance, we can debate today whether or not OLPC will actually get
    their little laptops down to $100 apiece - a preposterous neighborhood to
    even think of not so long ago.

    I do think that this technology has the potential to revolutionize the
    prospects for languages with extended scripts but restricted numbers of
    speakers ("minority language" may not be the optimal term), languages that
    will not likely see traditional production keyboards (even multilingual
    ones) with keys painted to accommodate their use. The qwerty and azerty
    keyboards tend I think to be a disincentive for the average and novice users
    to compose with characters not visible on the keys. Much of the potential of
    having Unicode fonts installed in the first place is lost if the keyboards
    don't convey the good news. (I'll post a recent case in point to A12n-collab

    Anyway I'm looking a few years down the line, hoping that some variant of
    Moore's or Bell's laws (or whatever) will bring this LED keyboard down in
    price drastically to where it can realistically be deployed in schools,
    telecenters, and offices in Africa and Asia.


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Philippe Verdy []
    > Wasn't it announced last year?
    > Well. This is not a significant change, because this just makes one of
    > the
    > most expensive computing devices, for use only by some rich geek... who
    > does
    > not know where to put his money! Even a real geek would find or build
    > much
    > less expensive solutions!
    > It won't solve any issue in the linguistic division of the world for
    > "minorities" that don't have access to modern communication systems.
    > Notably because I have serious doubt that anyone who is rich enough to
    > buy
    > such keyboard really has a serious problem to communicate on the
    > Internet or
    > to use a word processor with his language!
    > So may be there will be some new rich Chinese businessman that will
    > give it
    > a try, but who else?

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