'Upravlator' is stunning, but what is it?

Russian design studio teases a revolutionary keyboard

Mike Yamamoto Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.
Mike Yamamoto

Art. Lebedev Studio, which touts itself as the leading design firm in Russia, seems to have taken a page from Apple's marketing book--provide as little information as possible about a coming product and still get maximum exposure.

The mysterious Upravlator

A case in point is the "Upravlator," a device whose use is about as clear as its name. Various other gadget blogs have tried to skirt around the fact that its purpose is entirely a mystery; we think it has something to do with technology, but that's about as far as we're willing to go.

We do know this much: Although it's described as a keyboard, it looks like a monitor with a screen that's divided into 16 smaller panels, 12 of which are described as "transparent buttons." It's also stunningly beautiful. And we want one.

But in one of its few concrete details, the studio says the Upravlator won't be available for another year. So you can expect to read a lot more cryptic items about it for some time.

(Photo: Art. Lebedev Studio)