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Optimus Mini Three Goes Wireless (Sort Of, Maybe)

Optimus

By Evan Ackerman

If you can’t afford the Optimus Keyboard (and seriously, who can), you are currently able to sate your lust for programmable OLEDs with the Optimus Mini Three, which is a three buttoned/screened version costing a mere $150. According to the Art Lebedev blog, there is an Optimus Mini Three, version… Three… In the works. They say it’ll be “a completely new design,” called the “mini Tactus,” which will incorporate “one small sensor display divided into three (maybe more) zones.” Something with a touchscreen, maybe, if I know my Latin roots. It will also feature Bluetooth connectivity to get screen information from your computer, and will be “AC-powered.” So, um, it won’t be wireless at all? Maybe we’ll get some more updates, and some design tweaks, in the near future.

[ Optimus Blog ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Teleport 2.0 Call Tracker And Recorder

Teleport 2.0 (Image courtesy Art. Lebedev Studio)
By Andrew Liszewski

The Teleport 2.0 is an innocuous looking device which allows a telephone to be connected to a PC via USB. Using a Windows-only piece of software called Paliha-Teleport, the PC can then be used to not only record logs of incoming and outgoing calls but can also be used to record entire conversations as an audio file. There have been a few times when I’ve conducted telephone interviews and a device like this would have been extremely handy for recording the other person’s answers, instead of me having to furiously type away in the background.

And of course there’s the obvious spy-related uses as well, whether you’re trying to monitor your employees, kids or anyone else you think is out to get you. The Teleport 2.0 works with touch-tone or pulse dialing phones, can also be used to dial numbers stored in your PC’s phone book and is compatible with Russian and American caller ID standards. So whether you’re a KGB or CIA agent, this device should work for you.

It’s available on the Art. Lebedev Studio website for about $71.

[ Teleport 2.0 ] VIA [ Spy Review ]

TaskWatch Whiteboard Clock

TaskWatch Whiteboard (Images courtesy Art. Lebedev Studio)
By Andrew Liszewski

Here’s more proof that a useful gadget doesn’t necessarily have to be high-tech. The TaskWatch Whiteboard from Art. Lebedev Studio (yes, the same people who make the Optimus Maximus keyboard) is basically your standard whiteboard but with the addition of a traditional analog clock in the center.

Using regular whiteboard markers you can not only use the board for brainstorming and jotting down ideas, but you can also keep track of when you’re expected to deliver said ideas to the boss. The company is currently selling a 90x60cm version on its online store but in true Art. Lebedev Studio style the TaskWatch will cost you $202.70! I know whiteboards aren’t cheap, but you’re probably better off to just pick one up from Staples, drill a hole and install a simple clock kit yourself.

[ TaskWatch Whiteboard ] VIA [ Cribcandy ]

[CES 2008] Hands All Over The Optimus Maximus Keyboard

Optimus Maximus

By Evan Ackerman

Yes, it’s the Optimus Keyboard. If anything, it’s more beautiful in person than in all of the press releases (or maybe that’s just because we’re now sure that it actually exists). It works exactly as advertised. And believe it or not, Art Lebedev Studios had several 100% working versions in their booth at CES. Not vaporware anymore, baby… According to the booth dudes, they’ve got about 2,000 keyboards ready to go and are working on producing more.

Optimus Key

If you’re not familiar with this keyboard, every single key (in its most expensive configuration) contains a little 48×48 color OLED screen, which you can customize to show a letter, a picture, a movie, or even a widget that updates itself. The keyboard includes configuration software that lets you tweak each key to your heart’s content, and save custom configurations for different programs. We learned a little bit more about the keyboard itself, besides how eye-shatteringly cool and beautiful it is… It stores custom configs on an SD card, sucks down enough juice that it needs it own DC jack, and has 2 additional USB 2.0 ports in the back. The keys should last about 20,000 hours before they start to dim and are not susceptible to stuck pixels like conventional LCDs. Each keyboard includes a 1 year warranty (which extends to the keys themselves) and will come with 3 spare keys.

Optimus

It’ll be available in gloss black or gloss white with anywhere from one OLED on the spacebar ($460) to a full 113 OLEDs (nearly $1600). But the good news is that the OLED keys are only 10 bucks each and you can plug them in yourself, so just get the base version, and then find 112 friends who’d each be willing to give you a $10 b-day present. They should (should) start shipping by the end of February, and I think it’s actually halfway likely to happen.

Pics of the retail packaging (if you’re interested), after the jump.Continue Reading

Preorder Your Optimus Maximus Keyboard Now – No, Wait, It’s Too Late

By Evan Ackerman

Optimus Maximus

Don’t feel bad; Art Lebedev only released 200 Optimus Maximus keyboards for preorder, to be delivered in early December of this year. They are, of course, all gone, but my guess would be that they were almost all spoken for already anyway.

If you’re not familiar with the Optimus keyboard, it’s claim to fame is that all 113 keys have built in programmable color (yes, it’s back to color) OLED displays, with a resolution of 48×48 and a framerate (yep, they can display animations) of at least 10 fps. Predictably, it’s not cheap at just under $14 per key, amounting to around $1600 for the whole shebang. That’s a far cry from “out in 2006, will cost about $300” that we heard after the story broke back in 2005, but hey, at least (as of this December, anyway) it won’t be vaporware anymore.

And although we were among the very first to announce the Optimus keyboard, I don’t think that’s going to do us any good in terms of getting our grubby little hands on one of the illustrious December 200, unless David just hasn’t told me the good news yet…

[ No freaking way we're getting one, and let me tell you, I'm going to call it right here: come December, there's going to be some sort of delay. Or whatever. Oh, and by the way, there seems to be 200 more for "late December". - Ed. ]

[ Preorder Optimus Maximus ]

Welcome To April

By Evan Ackerman

Noticed anything odd yesterday? We did. It was April’s Fool all over the place, and people were having fun. Here are just a few examples:

R/C Battlefish

Battlefish

Each Piranhaz set comes with two battle fish, equipped with their own laser cannon. A quick charge from the remote and each fish is ready to go. Squeeze their sides to turn them on (you’ll see the eyes light up) and put them in the Arena. They will suck in a little water for ballast (just like a submarine). And then…FIGHT! Please use with caution when playing in fish tank with live fish – the lasers can blind them.

$29.99 From Thinkgeek.

Google TiSP

Google TiSP

Google today announced the launch of Google TiSP (BETA)™, a free in-home wireless broadband service that delivers online connectivity via users’ plumbing systems. The Toilet Internet Service Provider (TiSP) project is a self-installed, ad-supported online service that will be offered entirely free to any consumer with a WiFi-capable PC and a toilet connected to a local municipal sewage system. “I couldn’t be more excited about, and am only slightly grossed out by, this remarkable new product,” said Marissa Mayer, Google’s Vice President of Search Products and User Experience. “I firmly believe TiSP will be a breakthrough product, particularly for those users who, like Larry himself, do much of their best thinking in the bathroom.”

Available for free (unless you want professional installation or the Enterprise version) from Google.

Enjoy a few more after the jump.Continue Reading

Vaporware Afficcionados, Meet The Optimus Keyboard. Again. Without The Color

By David Ponce

We’re not going to kid anyone. We like to toot our own horns at OhGizmo HQ. So, we’re going to point out a few things, just for the record. Not many people know this, but we here at OhGizmo got the ball rolling for the long awaited, soon-to-be vaporware awardee, uber-OLEDkeyboard of The Gods: The Optimus. After we posted about it, here, it got picked up by Gizmodo, the news exploded and then the rest is history. We always felt as if that would at least earn us a review unit, but alas it never came. Nor, mind you, do we think it ever could. See, just a few months ago, I called BS on the device (here) because not only had the unit been postponed several times, the company was releasing the Mini Three: a three-key version of the full size keyboard. We thought it pretty pointless, and a sign that ArtLebedev Studios were full of it.

Well, today we have even more confirmation that we’re all just being taken on a “send-us-your-preorder-money” ride, and we might just have been right back then. It seems that the first production run of the keyboard will feature monochrome keys! And, the full color version will allegedly come later, “for a greater price…” Please. You got nothing. You got a bunch of attention a while ago, out of the blue, and instead of fessing up and telling us you had nothing, you tried to pull a fast one on us.

[ Optimus Keyboard To Lose Color ] VIA [ Digg ]

Ridibundus Emoticon Cushions

Ridibundus cushionsBy Stephanie Pakrul

Has chatting with someone while they’re in the same room as you lost its appeal? Now you can achieve a new level of dorkiness by carrying out entire conversations consisting of holding up small, round cushions with emoticons on them. Or perhaps use a strategically-positioned cushion to inform your significant other of your current mood.

Or, you could just decorate your couch with them. I suppose.

$20 pre-order for a set of six at Art. Lebedev Studio.

[Ridibundus] VIA [MoCo Loco]

Pre-Order The Optimus Mini Three

optimus mini three
By David Ponce

Well, no, it wasn’t the long awaited Optimus Keyboard that had aFeb. 1st ship date. It’s its little three-toed companion, the Optimus Mini Three. And it’s not even really a ship date, but more like a pre-order date, as the units are slated to ship on May 15th.

So, what exactly is it? Well, see, I’m not sure. Ostensibly, it’s a little keyboard, with all of its three keys embedded with OLED screens. It connects to the computer via USB 1.0 (??). Each key will either launch an application or perform a specific operation. Whatever the key is supposed to do, the OLED screen will reflect with either a nifty icon, or an animation or whatever, all very cool, all completely programmable. The guys at Art Lebedev Studio are encouraging the tech community (or anyone) to go apenuts and develop custom icons or whatnot for it.

But here’s the thing. The whole point of the original Optimus keyboard was this very functionality. There are a little over a hundred keys on a regular keyboard, many of which go unused. It wouldn’t have been much of a stretch to program three of those… to do exactly what you’re being encouraged to do with the Mini Three. So why release this at all? To give us a preview of the real deal? Or is this a sideways admission that development on the Optimus is nowhere near completion? Is this some daft PR spin? If the release of the full keyboard goes as planned (end of 2006), then what will be the use of the Mini Three?

Well, whatever the case, the device goes for $100 on pre-order, or “more” later. Even that sounds like they’re bootstrapped for cash. I don’t really like the sound of all this, but perhaps I’m being paranoid. I guess time will tell.

[Optimus Mini Three] VIA [Gadgetblog.it]