RIM patents slide-out QWERTY

We haven’t covered patents in quite some time, simply because companies patent everything and that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll ever produce them, but this patent filed by RIM seems to hold some water. This basically means we’ll have bigger screen BBs (duh) that are possibly touchscreen as well. It retains the trackball, which I’m ok with, but it’s the rest of the patent that intrigues me.

A device is disclosed for use in two different orientations. In one orientation, the keyboard is exposed to the user. This orientation is named the landscape orientation because the device will be positioned such that its width is larger than its height. The user would opt for the landscape orientation for tasks that require the keyboard, such as inputting data, drafting emails, sending emails, and other functions typically associated with a standard computer. The other orientation is named the portrait orientation because the device will be positioned such that its height is larger than its width. In addition, the keyboard is not used in this orientation and therefore hidden away. The user would opt for the portrait orientation for tasks such as making and receiving telephone calls and for reading documents and emails. The device detects the orientation positioned by the user and modifies the elements shown on the display screen so that they are presented in the correct orientation to the user.

I’m a big fan of the slide-out design that really caught my attention with the Helio Ocean. Samsung is set to roll out the Glyde, which I’ve been frothing over for a year now. When and if RIM decides to put this one into production is anyone’s guess, but I’ll be waiting to get my hands on one.

Patent [via BlackBerry Cool]