RE: Optimus keyboard in the news

From: Don Osborn (
Date: Thu May 03 2007 - 07:17:09 CST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "RE: Optimus keyboard in the news"

    Thanks Debbie, I hear you and think I understand where you and others are
    coming from. To respond to your phrasing, I'd separate out "better" and
    "cheaper." I agree completely that there are cheaper ways of doing this
    (that is, meeting input requirements of minority languages with
    extended-Latin or non-Latin scripts in multilingual societies), but would
    not agree that there is a "better" way (that is, if price were not a
    concern, and speaking of the concept [one hopes the Optimus in practice will
    live up to the hype]). So I'll keep hoping there'll be some breakthough in
    costs, but in the meantime won't put off working for more immediately
    realistic solutions.

    Before leaving this topic let me offer three more quick thoughts:
    * Unicode solved the issue of how to deal with multiple scripts by in effect
    expanding the code space to cover everything in a single system, but we
    still are dealing with input systems that are the direct descendants of
    typewriter keyboards. I'm seeing the input situation today as analogous to
    the character encoding situation when 8-bit was the norm: there's a "fixed"
    layer (visible on the keyboard) that is the base and is changed only at some
    cost, and a "variable" layer that can be different for different needs but
    is not as visible and sometimes is a problem for users to deal with.
    * What about the possibility of a "hybrid" keyboard in which only some keys
    are dynamic OLEDs or LCDs? For instance the numeric keypad on the right
    could be used this way. As costs decline, this might be an alternative
    (though it would require keyboard layout creators that take this into
    * If we do get to see these keyboards at a lower price, it would be
    interesting to see what kind of new input methods might emerge for non-Latin
    scripts with large numbers of characters (CJK of course, but also others
    such as languages written in Ethiopic/Ge'ez) and indeed for languages like
    Vietnamese and Yoruba that have multiple diacritics in Latin-based


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [] On
    > Behalf Of Debbie Garside
    > Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 6:51 AM
    > To:;;
    > Subject: RE: Optimus keyboard in the news
    > Hi Don
    > IMHO the Optimus keyboard is way too over priced and because it uses
    > individual LCDs for each key it will remain over priced.
    > I agree with you that the potential for this is enormous. The need is
    > there
    > but there are better/cheaper ways of doing this.
    > Best regards
    > Debbie Garside

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