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MIT Media Lab’s Siftables Take Optimus Keyboard Beyond The Keyboard

[ Direct Link to Video ]

By Evan Ackerman

As cool as the Optimus keyboard is, it’s still just a keyboard, with fixed keys that sit there, looking pretty and waiting to be pressed. The Siftables prototype (not concept, prototype) takes all the best parts of the Optimus keyboard (namely, the programmable OLED keys) and frees them into their own individual units. Each Siftable unit also contains short range infrared communicators, a 3-axis accelerometer, Bluetooth radio, flash memory, an integrated processor, a lithium polymer battery, some haptic hardware, and what look to be USB expansion ports. All that stuff in each Siftable. As you can see from the video, such complexity (especially when it comes to motion sensing and proximity communication) enables all sorts of interactive options. The sky is pretty much the limit with these things, and designers David Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi already have “a number of collaborations in progress with researchers in academia and industry.”

[ Siftables ]