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Art Lebedev promises second-gen OLED keyboard

Build your own keyboard with the Optimus Tactus

The company behind the highly anticipated OLED keyboard has revealed plans for a second-generation device which has no limitations on the shape and size of the keys.

Artemy Lebedev Studio's new Optimus Tactus does not have physical keys, which means there are no restrictions on their layout, and any part of the keyboard surface can be programmed to perform any function or to display any images.

Few details of the Optimus Tactus have been revealed so far, although the company has released images of the concept.

Click here for more pictures.

The news of the new product won't please those who have been waiting patiently for Artemy Lebedev's first creation, which was announced two years ago and is still to be released. In fact, Art Lebedev has revealed that the original Optimus Maximus keyboard has been delayed once again, this time by problems with the device's firmware.

Art Lebedev had expected the first Optimus Maximus keyboards to ship in late December, but the release date has been pushed back to late February. He blamed the delay on a chip that powers the customisable keyboard.

"We have chosen a Philips processor that fully satisfied all our requirements. But as it is new as a product for Philips, they still experience some problems with the processor and we are compelled to work with draft documentation," Lebedev wrote this week in a blog post.

Customers who have already paid and can't wait to get their hands on the keyboard, which has a tiny, customisable OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen on each key, can opt to receive a keyboard before the firmware issue is resolved. These keyboards already have "basic functionality", such as the ability to switch images displayed on the keys, but Lebedev said upgrading the firmware later on could be difficult for many users.

"If you do not have professional skills you may run into troubles installing and updating software," he wrote.

The OLED screens used in the Optimus Maximus' 113 keys can be customised by users, allowing the keys to change depending on what language a user is typing in, or which application is being used. Users can also change the font and colour of the letters displayed on each key.

Lebedev began taking orders for the Optimus Maximus in May, with each keyboard priced at $1,564. (£800).

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