Evidence RIM is Working on a Touchscreen BlackBerry!

By Kevin Michaluk on 8 Feb 2008 10:20 am EST
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Touchscreen BlackBerry Patent

A new Patent Application from RIM went through to publication yesterday morning, entitled SYSTEM AND METHOD OF INTEGRATING A TOUCHSCREEN WITHIN AN LCD. It's hard to not get excited about this if you reside in the BlackBerry camp wanting to see a Touchscreen BlackBerry added to RIM's offering. And according to our buddy Russell Shaw who posted the story, we may not have to wait TOO long to see it (he estimates 3 months). Russell's reasoning? Most patent apps take about 18 months to hit publication once they have been submitted. This one only took four months - and apparently this isn't a sign of USPTO efficiency, rather, a sign of a products imminent release. Three months would put a touchscreen BlackBerry announcement just in time for WES. I think that's probably overly optimistic thinking at this point, but would love to see that be the case!

Proposed in the patent:

A touchscreen liquid crystal display, method for using a liquid crystal display as a user input, and a mobile electronic device are provided. The touchscreen liquid crystal display comprises: a liquid crystal display having a viewing surface and including a plurality of parallel first electrodes located on one side of a liquid crystal containing area and overlapping with a plurality of parallel second electrodes located on an opposite side of the liquid crystal containing area, the first and second electrodes overlapping to form an array of liquid crystal pixel elements, at least some of the first electrodes being displaceable towards the second electrodes in response to external pressure applied to the viewing surface; a driver circuit coupled to the first and second electrodes for driving the electrodes for selectively controlling a display state of the display pixel elements; and a measurement circuit coupled to the electrodes for measuring display pixel element voltages for at least some of the display pixel elements formed by the first electrode, and for each display pixel element for which a display pixel element voltage is measured, comparing the measured voltages to reference voltages and determining a relative force of the external pressure on the viewing surface based on the measured voltages. 

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Evidence RIM is Working on a Touchscreen BlackBerry!

7 Comments

That would be pretty game changing. I am looking forward to see what it looks like and how the ease of use will be.

Good job RIMM!

Touchscreen Blackberry?

DO NOT WANT.

Be careful what you wish for! Have any of you ever used Windows Mobile or Palm Treo? Touching the screen is NOT ideal.

I hear you, though I would be more concerned on still keeping a Qwetry keyboard and not having an entire panel that's strictly touch screen. I would worry about the sensitivity of the system, and would one be able to change the gauge on the touch screen such as one is able to change it on the track ball.

This reads like every other pressure sensitive LCD (ala Treo, etc.) rather than the glass conductive approach of the iPhone. That would mean it would be prone to scratching and etching, and less sensitive. Hope I'm wrong.

NO, BAD RIM. There is a reason that I switched from my crappy Palm Treo over to you. You are not an iPhone and not a Treo, so stay true to what has made you so successful. If you end up compromising the UI of your phone, you will end up alienating many customers. Not that we will switch, since I guess there's no place else to go, but you get the point. If you would only just fix the things that the iPhone has that you don't (ie a kick-crack browser and streaming video/audio support) then you will remain on top. No need to screw up your UI and add the fancy scratch prone touch screen. BOO TOUCHSCREEN!!!