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Modding Optimus Mini Keyboard, great potential

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Asphix, 22 Aug 2006.

  1. Asphix

    Asphix What's a Dremel?

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    Hey, I saw this device and my first thought was, "One of those talented modders at bit-tech could do something really awesome with this!!"

    And so here I am, bringing it to all your attention, for what its worth :D

    it costs $160.. so its not cheap.. but 3 buttons each with their own LCD display is pretty cool if you ask me.

    heres a video of it in action:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcNwu7bw6yw&eurl=http://www.gizmodo.com/?refId=195587

    and the article from which I heard of it:

    http://arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.ars/2006/8/21/5063

    This thing is just screaming to be used in some really awesome custom built PC.
     
  2. Washfordmonkey

    Washfordmonkey What's a Dremel?

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    hmm might look into that... would be useful for my car pc?
     
  3. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    The Arstechnica article states that the makers are also planning to offer a full-size 105-key keyboard.
    Anyone care to take a guess at how much they'll want?
     
  4. lcdguy

    lcdguy Minimodder

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    min 300 bucks
     
  5. user0001

    user0001 What's a Dremel?

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    Saw this about a year ago. The story is that they were to make a full keyboard out of the screens. It was supposed to be out on 7-14-2005 but guess what? Nope! So then it was supposed to be out on 2-1-2006 but guess what? Nope! Instead they released the mini three for about $100. Now I see that price has increased to ~$160 and second shipments havent even gone out!

    See where this is going? By the time the full keyboard comes out (late 2006 according to the site so lets go ahead and put a realistic date of 2009 on it) imagine how much it'll cost! Its been reported that it'd cost less than a good mobile phone, but hey, that was months ago.

    If you want one, its been made clear that you'll have to make your own. Having said that, I'd love to buy, but only if it isnt Falat1ty-priced.
     
  6. sunnyg

    sunnyg What's a Dremel?

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    hmm, seems like a good idea but how often do you look at your keyboard when your on your computer?
     
  7. Asphix

    Asphix What's a Dremel?

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    hahaha very true.. but then again.. if it fits really nicely in a modding project.. it would be worth it.

    I remember spending about $150 on a really crappy LCD (good at the time.. but horrible viewing angles etc) from matrix orbital (found it through a link on these forums in fact.. ) back in 2001-2002. Expensive? Yes. Necessary? Nope. Did I need to get it? Hell yeah.

    As a normal consumer device though, you're right.. the price is absurd. You can get a pretty decent processor these days for that price.

    With a little creativity I'm sure you could mount that onto a case somewhere to use as a fanbus with custom On/Off pictures... or.. well.. use your imagination.. the possibilities are endless.. and in that context I'd say the $160 would be well spent.
     
  8. J-Mag

    J-Mag What's a Dremel?

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    Which brings up the question as to why people like back-lit keyboards.. I have always thought them a tad unecessary.
     
  9. Tyinsar

    Tyinsar 6 screens 1 card since Nov 17 2007

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    for me 3 keys=useless & I suspect that for the price of the full keyboard I'd just as soon mod a touchscreen to make something like the now discontinued FingerWorks TouchStream (though I'd add ridge lines to separate the key positions). Another option would be something like these virtual keyboards: here or here. With the proper software they should be able to change the display as needed. Though these options lack real tactile feedback, I think I could adjust to the first one better.

    While gaming, your hands are almost NEVER in the "home" position (especially if also using a mouse or joystick) and different games use different keys. Unless you play one game (or a few) obsessively, you have to glance occasionally.
     
  10. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

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    Just had a thought on how to do something similar yourself.
    Not sure if it would be possible by hand, might be a little fiddly.

    My idea, is fiber-optics.
    each key could have a 16x16 grid of fibers running into it.
    Then these fibers could all feed back to one screen displaying all the buttons in a grid.

    Or maybe some sort of lenses showing the image from a screen behind the buttons on the buttons?
     
  11. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    That would be expensive, unweildy, amazingly difficult and the keyboard would be massive.
     
  12. Tyinsar

    Tyinsar 6 screens 1 card since Nov 17 2007

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    But with my touchscreen idea you wouldn't need the fibre optics.

    Actually what I really want is a 36" (or larger) touchscreen display mounted into my desktop (at a small incline). That would make this (and most mice) obsolete.
     
  13. yahooadam

    yahooadam <span style="color:#f00;font-weight:bold">Ultra cs

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    they are useful

    most people probably do look at their keyboard a bit - to make sure their hands are in the right position, however, generally its not needed

    Still i like my G15, the keys are lit up - so what, if i do or do not use that function, what have i lost ? at least i have the option of it if i want
     
  14. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Type at night sometime. I know QWERTY better than the back of my hand, but I still suck at typing at night on anything but my non-backlit keyboard (on my MBP).

    I heard $300 on the full size one. I'd really consider getting one at that price. A lot? Of course. But consider how often you replace your keyboard. I bought my mouse quite a few years ago, likewise, my keyboard I got back in ninth grade (and I'm headed to college in a few weeks, so about four years ago). That, plus it's really the only part of the computer that you interact with. I don't push the processor or the fans all day long. It'll last a long time, and I'd certainly hope be of a good quality. I do have a specialty keyboard for gaming, but I can deal with a standard keyboard for gaming no problem (or just buy a $35 mini-version of what I have, just for gaming).

    Yeah, it's a lot to spend for a keyboard. $160 for this little thing is way too much. You just can't do enough with 3 keys. Maybe that much for a little keypad, one of those 17-key numberpads. But $300 for something as versatile and as genuinely useful as the full-size? I'd say reasonable. I don't plan to replace my display any time soon, so I can justify spending the $800 on it (plus it's massive, and I really use the space, not to mention the five video inputs). Well, that's all if it's Mac-compatible.

    After having spent $300 on a video card that's outdated in six months and is only being used to it's full potential maybe 10% of the time the system's on, I think that same amount for a keyboard that I'd use constantly and should be just as useful in several years as it is today. Well, that's my 2¢.
     
  15. Rocket733

    Rocket733 Austerity - It's the only way

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    I think it's pretty neat. I do remember the website saying the keys have a more limited lifespan which would be kind of a bummer. But a full size keyboard with the ability to change the symbols on the keys quite easily could be especially useful for people that do translating work, etc who would switch languages.
     
  16. J-Mag

    J-Mag What's a Dremel?

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    I type at night with the amazing invention of the incandecent bulb! It seems to me most people who get back lit kybds are gamers. I can game in the dark. I mean seriously if you have to look at the keyboard to switch weapons or reload you are dead anyway.
     
  17. Stormtrooper

    Stormtrooper Shh...

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    I'd say that the backlight helps only when you move your hands for gaming, in dark environments. When you type a message, for example, a quick glance shows the outline of every key.
     
  18. bender386

    bender386 What's a Dremel?

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  19. THEkorean

    THEkorean 42

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    man.. mabe in 20 years, when these things are like 50 bucks on ebay ill get one, lol it looks really cool
     
  20. yahooadam

    yahooadam <span style="color:#f00;font-weight:bold">Ultra cs

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    however its been vapourware for the last 5 or so years .....
     

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