RIM patent shows designs for netbook styled smartphone docking station

RIM patent shows designs for netbook styled smartphone docking station
By Bla1ze on 28 Nov 2012 09:53 pm EST
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Over the past few years there has been a lot of exploration with smartphone docking stations. Motorola tried it with their lapdock coupled with the Motorola Atrix and currently; ASUS is trying it out with their PadFone line. While none of those could be called a consumer success there is still plenty of interest out there for those products.

Over at Patent Bolt some older RIM patents have been dug up and those patents show that RIM could be working to fill those interests. The patents outline a netbook-like docking station that allows smartphone owners to interact with their device on a larger display all while charging it at the same time. Have a look at the background explanation.

With the advent of more robust electronic systems, advancements of electronic devices are becoming more prevalent. Electronic devices can provide a variety of functions including, for example, telephonic functions, electronic messaging functions and other personal information manager (PIM) application functions, Handheld electronic devices can include mobile stations, such as cellular telephones, smart telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptop computers, and desktop computers.

Such electronic devices allow the user to perform several functions, including placing voice calls and interacting with content, including text messages, email messages, address books, calendars, task lists, word processing documents and browser content. Existing electronic devices are heavy and bulky. The weight and bulk of existing electronic devices are generally attributable to large-sized components, heavy batteries and connector terminals. What is needed is a technology that separates the electronic device into a light-weight wireless control module that communicates with a docking station module using a short range radio communication device and a docking station module that communicates with a cellular network using a long range radio communication device.

Again, the concept isn't really new though it is certainly interesting given some of RIM CEO Thorsten Heins' most recent comments. Add in the fact that RIM has patents for such things and you can easily see where this might end up.

With plenty of talk about BlackBerry 10 and next generation mobile computing platforms happening, I'm starting to believe the BlackBerry PlayBook wasn't just RIM wanting to enter the tablet market but rather a testing ground for bigger things once BlackBerry 10 was fully ready.

If it comes to fruition, hopefully RIM will learned from the others mistakes and actually do it rght. Have a great design, market it perfectly, price it within reach of everyone who wants one.

Source: USPTO via: Patent Bolt

Reader comments

RIM patent shows designs for netbook styled smartphone docking station

32 Comments

There's another picture at the source site that shows the phone placed where the track pad is on most laptops, pretty cool indeed!

Ok, I'll say more. They should have been focusing on the phone, interface, software, anything but this. My Playbook doesn't even get recognition as a tablet. Everyone thinks this is a Kindle! That monstrous drawing would have been a worse disaster. And don't anyone dare call me a troll, or I'll kick you where the Maple leaf don't shine. Hideous idea, and I hope to god they haven't put more resources into it.

You do realize they filed for that patent a while ago right, and that is is just a basic sketch to convey their idea right?

I'm American, I have balls not mapple leaves :)

"Mapple"? Not sure if that's an American thing. Sounds like a mashup - typical American treatment of all things good. Us beautiful Canucks...we have Maple leaves...along with dictionary's! :)

So because everyone thinks your PlayBook is a Kindle, it is a failure? People have called my PB an iPad....most consumers are tech idiots...what is your point? And while I don't disagree that RIM should be focusing on BB10 right now, there will be a time when BB10 becomes relatively mature...and then what? I would love to see a netbook type device that links to my BB10 handset and uses the data plan via bridge.

1. It's an old COMCEPTUAL DESIGN.
2. If you don't want to buy such a product, THEN DON'T.
3. Threatening violence towards anybody who doesn't agree with you, I have nothing else to say... But these three words: SHAME. ON. YOU.

The drawing is conceptual - nothing to do with reality.

In fact if you're paying close attention to some of Thorsten's recent talks on the Mobile Future for RIM he specifically spells out the end of the laptop as we know it .

“Whenever you enter an office, you don’t have your laptop with you, you have your mobile computer power exactly here,” Mr. Heins said, patting a BlackBerry 10 phone sitting in a holster on his hip. “You will not carry a laptop within three to five years.”

The vision is that the Smartphone in your pocket has enough horsepower, already, to do almost everything you need - perhaps a larger screen or a keyboard, temporarily, but it's already an always on, always connected device.

You can read a little more here:http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/rims-chief-is-confident-of-blac... and also look at a video of these ideas here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy2QO-CTZYU (Skip to 2:10 if you want to get to the meat)

Imagine a dock for anywhere - kiosk, car, office - that is what the patent applies to. Ignore the artwork.

My two cents.

What about that Wifi Patent lawsuit against RIM from Nokia? Why isnt that posted here? Im really interested to find out what others think about it. Why don't RIM just pay? It's looking bad on them.

Clearly he's a troll coming here to stir trouble. If he was a CrackBerry regular, he would've seen the post before making that ridiculous comment.

OOps lol sorry dudes. I didn't see the post here. I most often just check the front page. The post probably went to the next page.

"Another point that RIM makes is that the netbook/docking station could include high-capacity batteries (# 710) that maintain a charge for an extended period of time. They would fit into the hinge of the netbook."
From Patent Bolt

Why can't they come up with a dock that will make the phone and its features available on a regular pc/laptop? Wouldn't that be simpler that investing in a new line of product, the development, production and marketing costs would be greatly slashed and some third party vendors offer software that essentially replicates some phone features on your computer. All Blackberry needs to do it roll out some solid software that will make it appear as if you're interacting with your phone on your computer hell just make it an extension of the desktop software.

Docking stations I suppose would not just be confined to the office? Perhaps hotels,airports,shopping centres,coffee houses?

That's a horrible design even if it is just to convey the thought. It really needs a lot more thought. Motorola got it right by placing the device behind the unit. Placing it to the side would have the user checking the actual device rather than its extension. Also on airplanes this would feel clumsy (unless you're flying 1st class).

Someone mentioned placing the device in the trackpad area - that sounds cool. If RIM pursues this it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

I'm still hoping for this one to pan out at some point. Hopefully not for a good few months yet, but whenever it gets released it will definitely be something I'll look at buying.