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Google patents hint at future Nexus sliders

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Google patents hint at future Nexus sliders
Last fall, the internet was briefly agog when a frequent leaker of all things Nexus tweeted that there would be a version with a slide out keyboard. That hasn’t materialized with the Galaxy Nexus models, but according to some fast-track patents that Google filed with the USPTO in January, a Nexus slider is something they are keenly interested in.

A series of three patents were field, which listed lead Android developer Andy Rubin as the main inventor. Each showed new internal mechanisms that appear to allow for a slider that is thinner, and has less overlap when opened, then other devices. The upshot would be a larger physical keyboard without a bulkier phone. The mechanisms (pictured below) include a “spring and stabilizing link” slider, a “serpentine spring styled” slider, and an innovative looking “scissor-hinge” slider.

We assume that each type of mechanism must have tradeoffs that would make them preferable in different types of products, but what those specific advantages are were not laid out in the patent filings. With so much room available to the physical keyboard, the filed patents did note that several other items could go there, including notification LEDs, a little trackpad, or the keyboard could be replaced with another touchscreen (or heck, game controls for an Xperia Play successor).

It should come as no surprise that Rubin, one of the creative forces behind Danger’s series of Sidekick sliders, would be interested in pushing the technology forward. But the fast-track nature of the patent suggests that Google would like to make one of these devices sooner rather than later – perhaps they’re hoping to get a sexy Android slider to market to scoop up some of the defecting BlackBerry users that are jumping ship in droves?

Would you pick one of these up if/when Google ships a Nexus slider? Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious, the color image at top is just a Photoshop hack of the existing Galaxy Nexus – we’re sure the final product will have little to no resemblance.



source: Patent Bolt via Cnet

29 Comments
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posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:17 12

1. ivanko34 (Posts: 617; Member since: 04 Sep 2011)


It needed a lot of work to find this solution.
This patent is very different of the empty fake patents of apple

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:18 8

2. Mozarrt (Posts: 294; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


You had to mention Apple, don't people ever get tired of you?

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:19 7

3. Mozarrt (Posts: 294; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


A phone with the same keyboard as the T-Mobile G1, and I'm heading towards the store now.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 13:28 3

12. joseg81 (Posts: 164; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


that's the 1st thing i thought. i would definitely but this cuz it reminds me of my 1st android the G1 :)

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:19 2

4. frydaexiii (Posts: 1185; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


Hmm? A tablet perhaps?

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:21

5. itiswhatitis (Posts: 421; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


i could only understand the first one,the rest however i look at gives me headache!!

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:34 2

6. facelessbelief (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


Interesting. It seems like a good idea, I think the Nexus phones would be a great place to try out a hinge system like that. Only time will tell, if the physical keyboarded smart phones are something that is bought up. Maybe if it has some higher tech in it. I would buy it. It seems like a lot of the slide-out phones come with lower end tech.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:39 3

7. androidornothing (Posts: 143; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Lol why the hell would anyone want a slider anymore that's so old school!!!!!!

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:41 5

8. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5554; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


a Motorola Nexus Slider...mmmm! i'm getting hot just thinking about it. ;]

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 13:19 4

11. N.Reynolds (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)


I agree! I think this could be an idea for a Motorola Nexus slider considering Motorola already makes a pretty nice slider line with the Droid series and now that Google owns/will own Motorola this could be the next nexus! I am very interested in this! The keyboard has me wowed considering it looks like there is a lot more keys than usual.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 13:03 1

9. skymitch89 (Posts: 1036; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)


The “spring and stabilizing link” slider looks a little bit like the one used in the T-Mo G1. The "extra space" could also be used to add more rows of keys as seen in one of the pics (there are 6 rows of keys instead of 4 or 5).

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 13:12

10. GJanee (Posts: 211; Member since: 29 Jun 2011)


wow, i don't think i've seen anything as ugly as this concept so far in terms of smartphone design...

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 13:32 4

13. Xquisite (Posts: 87; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)


People still use sliders? Might as well just make a Nexus Flip Phone.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 13:38

14. jan25 (Posts: 384; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


keyboard on a screen is much more comfortable than a physical keyboard. you just need to get used to it, just like you did when you first got your crapberry

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 13:39

15. joseg81 (Posts: 164; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


could this be a new sidekick? if i remember correctly they did say the line was gonna continue even though they discontinued that last one.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 13:42 5

16. Chronos (Posts: 257; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


I'll gladly stick with an all-touch Nexus.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 15:09 6

17. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


One thing this site proves that there is no shortage of self centered people who think what they like is fine for everyone else. No one cares if you don't like slider phones and physical kb, there are many people who do like them. Shut up and move along, the nerve of some people so narrow minded it make you wonder if they can even dream.

That photoshopped Nexus looks ugly, but I understand what Google is playing at, they are looking to maximize the space on the physical pad, possibly allowing for closer resemblance to actual keyboards on PC's and make it so that it's sturdy and functional on a smart phone without making it bulky and unsightly. Innovation should be encourage, not the idiocy of narrowminded idiots who think that their way of thought is the only way.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 18:36

21. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)


This...seriously.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 15:25 4

18. kabel (Posts: 43; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


I, for one, no matter how hard i try, can't get used to software keyboard. I'm dreaming for a nexus phone with hardware keyboard ... But a good one ... Not like the one in Samsung Galaxy Captivate ... It was a good try from Samsung, but the keyboard was not good, at least to me ... If they can make it as good as on Nokia E7, i would pay 1k$ without thinking twice ... Yes, it is that bad with software keyboards (or i should have say, that much i hate them) ...

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 16:20 1

19. cGmC11 (Posts: 109; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)


Oooohhhh!!!! Nooooooo!!!! Please nooooooo!!!nooooooo

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 16:56

20. good2great (Posts: 1039; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


this would be cool back in the G1 era but nowadays there isnt a need for physical keyboards they just get in the way... the technology in software keyboards are becoming easier and easier to use.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 19:31 1

22. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)


I'm getting a giddy inside thinking of a possible. Motorola Nexus Slide with an LTE radio.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 19:36 2

23. JcHnd (Posts: 81; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


I really think qwerty keyboard phones are fading away... and I really need one sometimes my phone overheats and it's sorta difficult to use the on-screen keyboard... would be nice to have them back!

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 21:21

24. PryvateiDz (Posts: 39; Member since: 31 Jul 2011)


Heck yeah, especially if it looks like that Black markup @ the top. BRING IT ON!

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 22:28

25. KFear (Posts: 137; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


Sliders are not cool anymore. They are now considered niche devices.

posted on 01 May 2012, 06:04 3

26. camcam (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 May 2012)


"keyboard on a screen is much more comfortable than a physical keyboard"
"nowadays there isnt a need for physical keyboards"
"Sliders are not cool anymore"

What value do you think you're adding to this conversation? Please, for the love of His Noodly Appendages, STFU. You don't want a hardware keyboard? Great. You have a wide and varied selection of phones to choose from.

I, for one, will be delighted if we get a new device with a hardware keyboard. My options for upgrading from Desire Z (G2) are non-existent at the moment.

The mechanism in the second and third pics looks identical to the G1 to me, although I can't recall how it was sprung (I think it might have been sprung like the scissor hinge in the fourth pic).

Anyway, my fingers are crossed.

posted on 01 May 2012, 08:42 2

27. ibap (Posts: 688; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


Please! Please! Please! I hate touch screen keyboards, and I'm female and don't have ham-sized hands. Perhaps it is because I can actually type! And spell! And I find it amusing to be able to guess that someone typed something on a touch screen and that is why there are so many little things that they might have othewise fixed before they hit send. Give me an actual keyboard with cursor keys any day.

posted on 05 May 2012, 09:05

28. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)


Perhaps Android converts from the iOS camp can free their minds from Mr. Jobs' (RIP) way of doing things for a second they would realize that having a choice is always good, and Android is all about having a choice. Bring on the Nexus Slide.

posted on 05 May 2012, 09:08

29. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)


Let's not forget that it was a slider phone, the Motorola Droid, that initially propelled Android to greatness. It's nice to see Android returning to it's roots.

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