Update: It seems this model will be released sooner than I expected under the code names Visa and Victoria. Expected launch date? Early Q2 2015!
I was just looking for information on the US Patent Office’s website when I stumbled upon BlackBerry’s patent #8,830,667, dated September 9th, which describes a “storable keyboard having a pivoting cover“.
This pictures shows the phone in its normal configuration, perfect for browsing the Web, playing games, etc. Hopefully, that row will be touch sensitive so that we can use it as a trackpad.
And when you need to type, you just rotate the bottom part to have access to a 3-row keyboard, similar to what you can find on the soon to be released Passport.
Here is a side view of the mechanism.
I think it’s a clever way to hide a keyboard, but I’m not sure we gain a lot of screen estate by using such a mechanism, as it’s described. BlackBerry probably has a better design in the works though :).
What do you think?