New RIM Patent Depicts Angular Keyboard

RIM Patent - Angular KeyboardWhile all the rumors of late are that RIM is working on a touchscreen device (again, these are still rumors..I have yet to see any concrete evidence other than mock ups), our friend Russel just found a new RIM patent app in the USPTO database that shows a CRAZY looking Angular keyboard on a mobile device.

The Patent, entitled Angular Keyboard for a Handheld Mobile Communications Device (go figure!) features a keyboard in which the

"right-hand keyfield has a longitudinal axis oriented at a left-to-right inclined angle while each key of a left-hand keyfield has a longitudinal axis oriented at a right-to-left inclined angle from the vertical centerline. A left boundary of the keyboard is located adjacent the left lateral side edge of the device and the right boundary of the keyboard is located adjacent the right lateral side edge of the device so that the keyboard spans a substantial entirety of the width of the device."

By Kevin Michaluk on 14 Dec 2007 09:27 am
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RIM Patent - Angular KeyboardWhile all the rumors of late are that RIM is working on a touchscreen device (again, these are still rumors..I have yet to see any concrete evidence other than mock ups), our friend Russel just found a new RIM patent app in the USPTO database that shows a CRAZY looking Angular keyboard on a mobile device.

The Patent, entitled Angular Keyboard for a Handheld Mobile Communications Device (go figure!) features a keyboard in which the

"right-hand keyfield has a longitudinal axis oriented at a left-to-right inclined angle while each key of a left-hand keyfield has a longitudinal axis oriented at a right-to-left inclined angle from the vertical centerline. A left boundary of the keyboard is located adjacent the left lateral side edge of the device and the right boundary of the keyboard is located adjacent the right lateral side edge of the device so that the keyboard spans a substantial entirety of the width of the device."

It will be interesting to see if a design like this will ever actually get made. It does maximize keyboard space and make for big buttons that should provide for a lot of striking room (thanks to the angular design maximizing each key's strokeable area)...but there is precious space between the keys. For those of us BlackBerry users who have typed on both the BlackBerry 8800's keyboard (big buttons, no spacing in between) and the Curve or 8700's keyboard (small keys, bigger spacing in between) I think the latter is the greatly preferred choice. Either way, it is always good to see our RIM engineer's thinking outside the box (err...inside the keyboard?). What do you all think? Yay or Nay?

Topics: News & Rumors

Kevin Michaluk Kevin Michaluk "Founder, Editor in Chief " 3922 (articles) 3288 (forum posts)
17 comments

Bla1ze

Just goes to show ya just cause a company produces a patent on something does NOT mean they intend to use it, the "roll out" keyboard MAY become a reality, MAY NOT...their touch screen MAY become a reality...MAY NOT, this whacked out angular thing MAY become a reality...MAY NOT then again, with all the code names RIM has for their devices, they may have 1 design for each of the supposed 5 upcoming devices.

oskaru

bla1ze is on top of that, totally standard protocol to establish intellectual property on different designs that may roll out of the factory or not, perhaps it may be something in 5 years for this particular patent.

Anonymous

hmmm it makes sense as when you type with ur 2 thumbs they are at an angle, although the pictures, the angle looks too steep

Bla1ze

Ya looks like if they make this thing a real item, it's gonna cause even more "crackberry thumb"

iToast

Again we are back with pure speculation on a device that hasn't had anything solid other than a patent filed. None the less this idea seems to be the logical choice for improved efficiency on the BlackBerry. That being said however it looks as though the more experienced BlackBerry (Specifically the Curve and 8700 series) user will have more of a beef with adapting to this angular design. I do think that it will help with speed due to the maximized striking area, but cause a bit of confusion when trying to extend your right or left thumb during a single handed typing sessions. This also promotes a bit of difficulty with the number pad for dialing as in the picture it would skew the numbers in an unnatural manner that doesn't match any current keypad (Except maybe the awful Motorola L7). Glad to see it isn't another multi-touch iSomething interface.

-iToast

chrous30

I like Fig 18 to 23 showing the different pointing devices like the touch par and the barrel roller :)

It shows they are trying different things to make a good product even better.

Anonymous

interesting concept...reminds me a lot of a couple years ago when they started making computer keyboards in a similar way to make them "ergonomic"...somehow today i still find myself using the regular computer keyboard though so i wonder if its just a passing thing...

chrous30

I wanted to say touch pad and not touch "par" that is in Fig 22 of the patent document.

rpalumbo

I think it all depends on how you hold your Blackberry while typing. I have seen different typing "styles". Personal preference I think

Eagletrack7

im new to the whole blackberry scene but i find the reagular old qwerty keyboard to work just fine. i would have to see this in person and play around with it to see if it really would be a good keyboard.

Anonymous

Okay, I can understand a full size keyboard, but when I'm only using one or two digits on a 3 inch keyboard, I don't want to have to look cross eyed at the keys to type.

rkevwill

not interested in that keyboard in the least.

mrtheend

don't like it one bit. :(

Plazmic Flame

Dude..... This is from 6 years ago...

viobb1

Hy there ! That's a YAY. But, there it's more about it ! Think customization ! I'm a bit of a tinkerer myself and I do repaired my old 8310 twice, I'm using it everyday and the old Curve works like a dream and it looks new ( my friends are shocked ). So why don't BBRY put one extrakeyboard in the box of the longexpected Q10+ the instructions about how to change it ?! Just saying.

viobb1

Btw, the Keyboard in 8310 curve it's by far, the best YET !!
Be well !