Wow! There's always something new and exciting to look forward to. For example, I was just introduced to the most amazing concept for a computer keyboard, in which every key is an active color display! This looks like something out of a science fiction movie, but it's so cool that I WANT ONE!
The thing is I've long had an interest in the origin and evolution of computers and related topics. And I just love the nuggets of trivia one discovers along the way, such as why the first typewriters looked like sewing machines. (What, you want to know too? Well, this all came about because, the manufacturers, Remington and Sons from the state of New York, had only previously made guns and sewing machines. The artist-mechanic they put on the job was William K. Jenne, whose expertise was in the design of sewing machines, with the result that the world’s first commercial typewriter, released in 1874, ended up with a foot pedal to advance the paper and sweet little flowers on the sides!)
You can discover more about this type of thing in my papers on the origin and evolution of Computer Keyboards and Computer Displays.
But we digress. This new (well, proposed) display would not look out of place in a "Buck Rogers in the 23rd Century" movie. The idea is that whatever application you are running can reprogram the images being displayed on each key to reflect that key's function at this time. The main webpage talking about this Optimus Keyboard concept provides some cool examples of its use, such as a block of keys intended to switch between Programs or Modes, the main keys configured for Photoshop, and then reconfigured for Quake.
I am agog with excitement. Did I mention that I WANT ONE! Why don’t you take a look and let me know what you think (you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.