RIM's Flying Keyboard

You can't say the guys and gals at Waterloo don't at least try to innovate. Over the past year and a bit we've featured a few cool-looking RIM patents here in the blogs, including one for an Angular Keyboard, a SureType BlackBerry with Tilt & Slide form factor and even a full-out BlackBerry Slider. Whether or not we ever see these patents actually get used in a BlackBerry smartphone only time will tell. Regardless, at least these three patens are are all kinda cool to look at.

I can't really say the same for RIM's latest patent application though. Just yesterday, the USPTO made public RIM's filing for an "APPEARANCE ADAPTABLE KEYPAD FOR A HANDHELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE." From the abstract:

A handheld communication device configurable between a telephone mode and an email mode is described. The handheld communication device has a body with a front face at which a user input is located. The user input includes an appearance-adaptable keypad configurable between a telephone keypad when the device is in the telephone mode, and a text entry keypad when the device is in the email mode. The telephone keypad includes a plurality of alphanumeric input keys. The telephone keypad is arranged in a standard telephone keypad layout when the device is in the telephone mode. The text entry keypad includes a plurality of alphabetic input keys. The text entry keypad is arranged in a standard text entry keyboard layout when the device is in the email mode.  

Maybe there is genius buried within the patent description, but if that's the case the image above doesn't do it justice. I don't think the flying keyboard concept will.. er.. fly :-)

[ via Engadget Mobile ]