An Inside Look At The Workings Of The Trackpad

By Bla1ze on 18 Dec 2009 02:59 pm EST
An Inside Look At The Workings Of The Trackpad

The trackpad. Sure it's not a new thing to have included on a device but it is however, the newest thing to have on a BlackBerry smartphone. After having used the track wheel and the track ball, it seemed to be the next common sense step for Research In Motion to take on their non touchscreen devices. Although, a good many people I know would still rather have a track wheel (aka Jog wheel) over anything.

Over at Inside BlackBerry a new post went up today outlining the "science" behind the trackpad its self. After reading the article, I got a better understanding of how the trackpad it's self works, it's not simply just touch it and go. There is more to it then that really, so I suggest giving it a read. The best part of the write up is this is only part one of the series. I'm waiting for the write up where they go through the evolution of navigation on BlackBerry smartphones. Maybe we can start up a group to fight to bring the track wheel back? Who's with me? Viva La Track wheel!

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

An Inside Look At The Workings Of The Trackpad


It does look so big in the pic. I love the trackpad on my 9700. when i have to mess with a bb with the track ball. I hate it.

That IB article was...I don't know not very interesting at all, and as informative as Windows' Help.

I don't like the trackpad, the trackball is far better for me.
I had the choice of either getting the Tour or new curve(w/ trackpad) for Verizon. And I chose the Tour mostly because I didn't like the trackpad. I usually have moist/clammy fingers and it was hard as hell to control the thing... hope they don't completely phase out the trackballs...

Ive played around with the trackpad and it is pretty cool. But i do love the trackball, didnt like it so much on the world edition and curve 8330, on my tour is awesome.

Merge my Tour with a jog wheel! Even better make me a Tour with a trackpad! Will the pad work if it is covered in plastic like the plastic keyboard in the Otterbox cases.

well no, i didn't know this was the tech behind it but I figured there was more than the laptop touchpad tech which it has been compared to alot.
Just as estrano said, moisture is its enemy, which makes sense as it would fill in the spaces between the ridges, reducing the minute differences in the ridges.
I did some simple testing today, white paper works, tshirt works, business card works, even plastic works.
However and this was kind of interesting, white smooth plastic was not very precise but once i moved the barcode portion of the white plastic over the sensor it was moving quite quickly.

It is actually called an optical joystick. Those used in BlackBerry Smartphones are made by Crucialtec.

No jogwheel, trackball, trackpad - let along idiotic screen flicking can compare to four arrow keys and a select button. Sure, with QWERTY BlackBerrys you can hold down spacebar to scroll down long documents or webpages, but there's no way to reverse the scrolling and scroll back up continuously. Also, no continuous left/right scrolling such as for navigating long spreadsheets. Nothing beats holding down an arrow key and scrolling the heck out of a document. I still can't believe how RIM has dropped the ball on this simple concept.

I don't know if it does affect the battery life or not but the 9700 has the best life even on 3G all day. I used to run out of juice after 6 hours on my 8900 with this one I go on a full day without having to recharge the battery.

Will it work with Gloves? Ah it's getting cold up here in the northeast and one thing about my storm is I either have to use fingerless gloves or take them off.. a real pain.
I had the trackball on my world edition and liked it, but hey I'm all for technology so I'm interested, I've been considering the Essex because I'm considering going back to a physical keypad.. adn this will be part of it!

Okay, there's always one in every crowd, so I guess I'll take that role for now with the dumb question...Can a trackball be replaced with a trackpad in an 8330?
Thanks in advance!

Please, keep the laughter to a minimum. LOL

No way. Just replaced my release day storm with the new curve. The trackpad is AWESOME. I like it way better than the ball or wheel.

What was so cool about the TrackBalls were that they were a much needed step away from up, down, left, right navigation. It could move diagonally which made it so much more sensible and functional.

Now RIM decides to downgrade back to the restrictive navigation and away from what made its device unique. I guess it works though, people are sucking it up.

With this being an optical device, albeit infrared, can this be the beginnings of the path to provide a camera on the front of the device as well as the camera on the back? Maybe to prepare for video calls? Just a thought...