Reconfigurable keypads to transform your Blackberry into a multimedia device

It’s been a while since we checked with Research in Motion R&D department to see what interesting keyboard arrangements they have thought up for your Blackberry devices. Well, in a 4 months since we showed you various rotating keyboards and novel key arrangements, RIMM designers have come up with a number of even more interesting keyboard designs.

One of them, revealed in a patent application No. 20070133788, shows a Blackberry with movable/reconfigurable keypad:

blackberry-reconfigurable-keybapd.jpg

The design takes different modes and needs of use of your mobile device into account. Some of them, like watching video, reading an e-mail or document attachment, etc; are screen focused, do not require a full fledged keyboard and can be operated with only a few control keys. For others, like typing an e-mail or working on a word document – the bigger the keyboard, the better.

Here, the reconfigurable keypad, pictured above comes to the rescue. The basic idea is the ability to hide the unnecessary keys inside the body of your Blackberry or mobile phone and pull them out when needed. This way you can have the best of both worlds – big screen covering almost the full surface of the device for video and full QWERTY keyboard for writing.

And small devices like Blackberry and mobile phones are not the only places where such keyboard innovations can be applied. According to RIMM, use of such reconfigurable keypad in UMPC or Slate Tablet PC devices provides for even more interesting capabilities:

blackberry-reconfigurable-keybapad-umpc-tablet.jpg

Of course, all these devices are on the drawing board or early prototype stages so far, but I certainly would like to see them implemented for real.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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