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Mini OLED keyboard in living color

Get ready to light up, keyboard lovers. Russian designer Art Lebedev Studio, which last year enticed peripheralites everywhere with the eye-catching , has introduced a scaled-down cousin to the product--the Optimus Mini Three, an auxiliary keypad with three keys, each with a color OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen displaying a programmable function.

Optimus Mini Three
Credit: Art Lebedev Studio

Think of the Mini Three as a blank sheet, with you as the artist: Each key can be customized to show a static or animated image and control some function (fetch your e-mail or launch a program, for example). The Mini Three can be situated horizontally or vertically: The images displayed on the keys are rotated using the Optimus Configurator software, which is now available for Windows, with Mac OS and Linux soon to follow.

Starting this week, the gadget can be preordered online for $100 (that price is subject to change after April 2, according to the Art Lebedev Studio site). The Mini Three ships on May 15, with its full-size Optimus counterpart due out by the end of this year.