BlackBerry gets patent for temporary QWERTY keyboard overlay

BlackBerry gets patent for temporary QWERTY keyboard overlay
A patent awarded to BlackBerry shows off a new physical QWERTY keyboard that also doubles as a touch sensitive display. The QWERTY apparently can slide onto the device when in use, and slides up and down the screen of the BlackBerry model it would be used on. According to the patent it would appear that each key would have two functions. One would be when the key is depressed and the other would be when the key is touched.

The exact title of the patent is "Temporary keyboard having some individual keys that provide varying levels of capacitive coupling to a touch-sensitive display." In the patent, BlackBerry notes that such overlays are already commercially available, but only to type on. The QWERTY that BlackBerry has patented also doubles as a touchscreen input.

The images of the physical keyboard in the patent resemble the odd QWERTY keyboard seen on a prototype of a high-end device codenamed the BlackBerry Windermere. That keyboard lacked number and punctuation keys. This could mean that depressing the keys will input letters, while using the touchscreen input of the QWERTY will input numbers and punctuation.
 
BlackBerry has tried other ideas in an attempt to improve the typing capabilities on its smartphones. Back in 2008, it debuted the SurePress clickable QWERTY on the BlackBerry Storm 9530. The idea was to make clicking on the phone's glass feel as though the user was pressing a physical button. The idea flopped even though it was improved on the BlackBerry Storm 2, and was never used again by the manufacturer.


The patent was filed in August 2012 and while some of you might think that this would prove BlackBerry's case against Typo, that suit is about the actual design and look of the keys, which resemble those on the BlackBerry Q10


source: USPTO, BlackBerryVietnam (translated), BBNews.pl (translated) via BerryReview

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