$1500 Keyboard - Anybody?
You probably know that CeBIT is going full force, right now. As you would expect from a leading IT and telecom trade fair, loads of new interesting solutions were presented. However, one stands out, right away. Not so much with its features but rather by price - \$1,500 for a keyboard? And it's not even platinum-plated or carrying proud tag of some insanely famous designer.
Optimus Maximus is a creation of Russian web/industrial design company Art. Lebedev Studio. Each key on this keyboard is an OLED screen that can be programmed to display any character. So, effectively, the keyboard is fully customizable. Cool, but... it ends up costing more than any keyboard you have ever seen. According to some reports, it also "features" a constant high-pitch noise from all the OLED goodness, but we have not tried it so - maybe not.
In any case, even with the supposedly breakthrough approach to designing keyboards, the first reaction when you look at the price tag is inevitably in line with one of the comments to the wired.com blog post: "These Commie douches must be out of their arrogant minds. \$1500 for a keyboard? Yeah, right, how about - GET REAL?". However, if you give it a second thought you may appreciate the marketing genius behind the price. Seriously, if not the scandalous price tag, what else would make this gadget appear on the front-page of the wired.com coverage of CeBIT and be a highlight of the show?
Well, maybe the "commie douches" are not so stupid, after all and they've learned a thing or two about Shock Advertising from their Western brothers? Maybe... We'll see how this one goes and if the keyboard will capture any real market. In my humble opinion, unless they significantly drop the price very soon, they will prove right the wired.com commenter.