RIM granted patent for angular BlackBerry keyboard

RIM angular keyboard
By Adam Zeis on 9 May 2012 03:42 pm EDT

RIM has been granted another patent that shows off an inovative BlackBerry keyboard. The patent, filed in 2009, is for an Angular keyboard for a handheld mobile communication device. The hardware keys in the design are angled toward the right and left from the center line in order to increase typing accuracy. It's hard to say if this would be helpful since most BlackBerry owners are darn good typists as it is, but it's still a cool idea. It's not the first time we've seen some funky patents come out of RIM, and as we know they are not abandoning the physical keyboard, we may see some more interesting designs like this down the road.

Source: USPTO Via: Engadget

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

RIM granted patent for angular BlackBerry keyboard


I guess I'm the only one who thinks this is a terrible idea. If it isn't broken, don't fix it.

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This patent is ridiculous and provides further evidence that the patent system is dysfunctional. RIM calls this innovation?

it would be cool if RIM made it so that at the touch of an app the keys would slide into place like that and then back to the original, like a modular plastic film coating that has magnetic properties under induction, I dunno really I have a drawing of it...

...not to mention the magnetic locking case, or sleeve for the phones....

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There is a messaging phone that does this. There's basically a "screen" behind the keys that changes which key is which depending on whether you're in portrait or landscape mode.

there will always be a keyboard, its their trademark now. RIM will never drop it because there's nothing else that compares to true tactile feedback with a device that has a keyboard.

I for one think it's a really neat idea. And very practical as the greater dimension of the key would face the thumbs.

Same concept as an ergonomic keyboard pointing the keys in the direction the hands come from (shoulders, not chest)

Whether this would be effective on such a small scale, testing would tell.

Coming at this from the PB side I would like to see a fully configurable keyboard. Controllable size; shape; split-able; numbers location; etc. Love the BB10 keyboard demo but I want MORE! Make it happen Thor! Glad RIM is still pushing the physical keyboard for those that want/need it.

/Device agnosticism or bust!

That's what I want. A fullsize keyboard. I don't want the little one. I want one so when I have my playbook connected to the big screan I can type comfortably. I have hesitated on the current keyboard due to the lack of realistate.

As far as the keyboard goes I think I'll find myself testing the waters with a full touch. That new keyboard looks hot and may be the straw that gets me to all touch.

Who's with me?

The keyboard already has that general shape, take a look at the direction the raised bumps on the keys are facing. Seems to be consistent with how the fingers press down on the keys (down and out motion), it's a neat concept I'd be willing to try in real life.

Does it normally take 3 years for approval for this type of thing? That seems like a long time from a 2009 filling. Maybe its just me - but, wow, 3 years in a tech industry is an amazingly long time.

It looks like the 99xx keyboard with the bump on the letters being inverted ,and I guess a more pronounced divide down the middle of the keyboard.

again only testing will tell if this patent was even worth it

my 2 c: it looks like a patent they had with intentions to maybe re-invigorate the pearl "candy bar" form factor. I was never a fan, but then again I see people still rocking the style.... so here we are

I wonder if this design was conceived to be implemented in a horizontal slider. It would make more sense to me to have a different keyboard layout design for the horizontal slider than to stretch the perfectly designed bold keys.

As a side note i hope they implement the swiftkey ui into the new BB10 qwerty devices. Maybe making the keyboard "frets" on the bold keyboard actually conductive so it can detect when you swipe up. In the same thought you can swipe down and ride the fret to the left to delete.

What I find so funny are the comments from people who don't have fat thumbs. I'm not overweight, but I gots me big hands! This is a great idea. For all the skinny thumbed people you can still use your original keyboard.