[FW16] Keyboard with OLED displays in every key

Okay, hear me out. Would it be feasible at all to create a Framework 16 keyboard which has a tiny OLED display in EVERY key? Imagine program-dependent keyboard symbols. Or different keyboard layouts (languages) on the fly. Endless possibilities. Maybe someone with more expertise could chime in — would you be able to address the displays quickly? How would you address them? It would probably have to be multiplexed somehow, but I don’t know how that would work. Maybe via I2C or something. Looking forward to ideas from you guys!

I can’t image there would be enough depth for a display ??

The closet would be a touchscreen keyboard.

But not a display and a key press ability

Some decades ago, Artemy Lebedev’s studio produced just that keyboard, Optimus Maximus. An OLED display in every key. It was expensive, and it was crap.

There are three elephants in this room that somehow get overlooked: those things get hot, they consume quite a bit of energy (Optimus Maximus required an external power supply!), and they are very finicky and unreliable. It’s 80 teeny tiny displays, after all.

Oh and they would be expensive. Expensive as hell on a low margin.

There is this Nemeio thing that promises an eink keyboard some day, but they haven’t got past the vapourware stage for quite a while, and it doesn’t look like their thing is going to have good tactile characteristics. And it’s too bulky to fit in a laptop.

Overall, the idea is quite overrated. It’s not hard to remember shortcuts if your bread and butter depends on you remembering them. And emoji typing is too low a value for such an expense.

On the other hand, relegendable clip-on keycaps… Finicky too, but you can probably buy spares for pennies.


But it was a thing of beauty.

Even the 3 key, iirc, keyboard was expensive.