I am not sure what to make of this RIM patent Lucas @N4BB spotted for rotating keyboards. This comes after RIM’s patent in August of last year for a rotating keyboard. At first it would make sense for software keyboards but the whole patent seems to be focused on physical buttons that suddenly rotate perpendicularly based on you running a different application. It could be RIM had to say it is a hardware function to get a patent since software patents are harder to win but who knows. Or maybe there is some project management exec at RIM mandating that everything rotate… Here is the abstract RIM provided:
A customizable keyboard for a handheld electronic device is provided. The keys of the keyboard are rotatable, either individually or in groups, either under manual control of a user of the device or by means of one or more micro-motors or solenoids controlled by a microprocessor running software on the device. The keyboard may be integrated in the device or may be detachable therefrom.
If you are in for some head games check out the full patent verbiage at the USPTO