The rumors about the Sony Ericsson’s PSP phone have been spreading around the net even before we’ve put some substance to it, with the discovery of the patent application for one design of said device.
Today another Sony Ericsson patent application, called “Orientation based multiple mode mechanically vibrated touchscreen display“, has surfaced.
It shows that earlier configuration was not the only way that SE could bring the PSP phone to the market.
Another possibility would be a handset with a full touch screen display, accelerometer or other orientation sensor, and a haptics feedback set-up, that can be reconfigured through software between PSP and phone functionality:
Since the handset screen has the haptics tactile feedback mechanism, the need physical buttons is eliminated, the display can cover practically all the surface of the device, and it still could be as convenient to use in both, game console and phone functions.
In PSP mode this Sony Ericsson phone (pictured above) is:
… set out to mimic the look and feel of the popular Sony.TM. Playstation Portable (PSP.TM.) gaming device. The area designated by reference number 300 is reserved for game action. It is essentially the display within the display. The dashed box referred to by reference number 305 represents the buttons that appear on the right hand side of the PSP.TM.. The dashed box referred to by reference number 310 represents the buttons that appear on the bottom of the PSP.TM.. Lastly, the dashed box referred to by reference number 315 represents the buttons that appear on the left hand side of the PSP.TM.. The buttons represented by reference numbers 305, 310, and 315 are graphical renditions on the mechanically vibrated touchscreen display 150 of the portable mobile communications device 100. The mechanically vibrated touchscreen display is configurable and re-configurable to suit the mode or application desired by the user. In this example, when the user presses an area of the mechanically vibrated touchscreen display that corresponds to one of the buttons that is associated with the PSP.TM. interface, a tactile sensation is returned to the user that indicates a button was pressed. The exact type of tactile sensation emitted by the mechanically vibrated touchscreen display and experienced by the user can vary according to parameters set out in the display configuration associated with that mode. Thus, some buttons may have different feels than other buttons.
Of course, when we get to the accelerometers, full touch screen displays and portable device function reconfiguration through software, there’s no rule that says that this device should be just a PSP phone. It can as easily be reconfigured to act as music player – Walkman phone, digital camera – Cybershot phone, or mobile Internet browsing device.
And Sony Ericsson in this patent application did just that:
If all of this sounds very familiar to you, well, it is. Remember Steve Jobs MacWorld 2007 keynote speech?
“… an iPod, a Phone and an Internet Communicator… an iPod, a phone… are you getting it? These are not 3 separate devices. This is one device, and we are calling it… iPhone…”
The device described in current Sony Ericsson patent application is exactly the same concept as iPhone, with additional PSP gaming console functionality added to the mix.
But we cannot say that Sony Ericsson copied this idea from Apple. It looks like SE has been working on these full touch screen multifunctional device ideas in parallel with the work done at Apple.
Sony Ericsson patent application was filed on August 30, 2006. Several months before the iPhone was introduced, and a week before the main iPhone patent application became public.
Only it’s a shame that it should take Sony Ericsson more then 18 months to come up with such handset. Xperia X1 is a step in the right direction, as is the rumored Sony Ericsson p5i full touchscreen smartphone.
Let’s hope that the other ideas described in this patent application will be implemented soon too.
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