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RIM files patent for flipping, rotating smartphone keyboard


Now we've seen some pretty wild keyboard patent applications in the past, from folding keyboards, angled keyboards, keyboards you can reconfigure by hand, and even keyboards with displays in every key (hello Optimus Maximus). But now RIM seems to have a new take on the smartphone keyboard concept. The company has filed a patent application for a keyboard which not only can be turned 90 degrees from portrait to landscape orientation (that you hold in a portrait manner, kind of like a reverse of this hideous thing), but one which flips as well. In the diagram the phone-maker provides, a numeric pad could be spun around to become a QWERTY input surface, and the whole rig repositioned to make for more comfortable typing. Now, it's not clear how exactly RIM plans to mechanically turn this into a reality, but given the company's recent interest in non-standard form factors, it's not totally inconceivable that this could be turned from patent fantasy to smartphone reality. Of course, we're not sure RIM should be worrying about its keyboards so much as it should be concerned with the software and internals of the devices themselves. You're actually doing the keyboards right... maybe some work elsewhere is in order?

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