Sony wants to patent multiple keypad design, maybe for the next Xperia PlayStation phone?
Announced with much fanfare more than a year ago as the first PlayStation-certified smartphone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play didn’t have the success its maker had expected. That’s likely because its technical specs aren’t overwhelming at all (as fans who’ve wanted a PSP phone for years have dreamed they’d be). Still, the Xperia Play remains an interesting smartphone. And probably that’s why Sony has several ideas on how to improve it.
We’ve discovered a patent application filed on October 2010 (just a few months before the Xperia Play was introduced), which details a touchscreen smartphone that has two sliding keypads – one including a QWERTY keyboard, and another one featuring a gamepad. Apparently, Sony thinks this could be a killer device among users who “prefer traditional keypads having press-buttons for some operations, such as text operations or video game control.”
The idea behind this patent is simple: there are two overlapped keypads, and you just slide-out the one you need, when you need it. Of course, it’s hard to imagine that a handset with such a construction would be on the thin side. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a huge demand for physical QWERTY keyboards lately – at least not when you have a large display with a good software keyboard. But maybe – just maybe – Sony will want to try its luck with a new PlayStation phone someday, and this could be the main idea behind it.