Uh-oh, Optimus — United Keys partners with FoxConn to build OLED gaming keyboards

via Engadget by Nilay Patel on 1/22/08

Man, it looks like all these display keyboards are finally going from vapor to realityUnited Keys, which has been pimping various versions of its Display Keys product since 2005, has just announced that it’s signed a deal with FoxConn to build a gaming keyboard with several OLED function buttons, and thats it’s aiming to ship by summer. Interestingly, United Keys told us it holds two US patents and several foreign patents on the tech, and that it’s searched for Art Lebedev’s claimed Optimus patents but “can’t find anything.” Fair enough, but there are definitely some other similar patents on the books, like Elkin Acevedo’s “display keyboard” patent, and Apple’s recent filing. Looks like there’s a giant, dorky light-up keyboard fight in the works, eh?

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MadCatz brings portable keyboard with Thumbpad

via PS3 Fanboy by Andrew Yoon on 1/19/08

We have to admit that this peripheral by MadCatz looks like a winner. It reminds us a lot of Xbox 360’s chatpad — this device plugs into the PS3 controller and allows you to type at a whim. Supposedly, the device was released all the way back in May, but it seemingly has fallen out of our grasp.

This seems rather ingenious, but user reviews have been negative for one key reason — apparently, it doesn’t work with PS2 games. Final Fantasy XI fans were quite disappointed. But, those of you that enjoy using the web browser and the XMB messaging system may find this $30 peripheral a neat addition to your gadgets collection. See a video, after the cut.

[Via PSP GadgetZ

Did you apply for your TV converter box coupons yet?

via Engadget by Evan Blass on 1/1/08

If you’re anything like us, your only New Year’s resolution for this particular ride around the sun is to sign up for a converter box coupon in preparation for the 2009 digital TV transition — even if, also like us, your only remaining analog set is gathering dust next to your laserdisc player in the basement. Still, a bargain is a bargain, so $40 off a product or products that we don’t really need was more than enough motivation to race over to the official sign-up page only minutes after it went live. You, of course, still have a good 13 months to pick up one of these digital-to-analog converters from LG or friends, but since you’re probably not in very good shape to do much else today, why not make the most of your incapacitation and hit the Read link to fill out your application.