Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Google that reveals a QWERTY styled smartphone design. It appears that with RIM on the ropes, Google want's to swoop in with a design that incorporates a hard key styled QWERTY keyboard that Blackberry fans are familiar with. Considering that the design was engineered and lead by Google's Senior Vice President of Mobile, Andy Rubin, you know that this is likely to be a priority project. And to prove this point, the original patent application was only filed in January of this year. The fact that it's being published just four months later is something to behold. The only question remaining is: will they be fast tracking this project to market? Only time will tell.
Google Designs a QWERTY Styled Smartphone
Google states that some PDA's or mobile telephones have a screen and a small numeric or alphanumeric keyboard on a base that has no moving parts except for buttons or scroll wheels. In a device called the Sidekick available from T-Mobile, the screen overlaps a keyboard and pivots around and away from a base to reveal the keyboard. In one of Google's latest patent applications we're able to see that they clearly wish to have a QWERTY styled Google smartphone in the marketplace in the future. Considering that their patent application was originally filed in January 2012 and published this week – I'd say that they're in a hurry to see this come to market.
The bottom line is that Google's patent FIG. 14 illustrates a slide-out QWERTY keyboard styled smartphone. Google's states that the smartphone's keyboard 502 could contain various combinations of keys, such as standard QWERTY or other layouts of letter keys, numeric keys or keypads, arrow keys, function keys, or other special keys.
According to Andy Rubin and team, the keyboard could also include other displays or controls, such as a switch, touch screen, LED indicator, headphone port or other port. Any of these features could also exist elsewhere on the device. If the keyboard contains keys that are too small to operate manually, the device could also include a stylus or other tool for pressing the smaller keys. When not in use, such a stylus could be stored in a chamber or on clips built into the device.
The keyboard could also include other controls, such as a mouse, trackball or trackpad, which the user could use in a graphical user interface (GUI). If the device is too small to house a larger keyboard, a thumb-type mini keypad can be used.
Spring & Stabilizing Link Styled Slide-Out Mechanism
Google's patent FIG. 4 below is a schematic top view of a smartphone utilizing a spring and stabilizing link styled slide-out mechanism; FIG. 6 is a schematic top view of the smartphone completely open; FIG. 7 is a schematic perspective view of the same smartphone.
In Patent FIG. 6 Google points out that design ensures that the overlap, as seen in patent point # 606, can range from 14-25% leaving enough space for larger keyboard keys.
Google states that the spring 202 could be manufactured, for example, using metal (e.g., tempered steel, titanium) having flexibility, tensile strength and memory needed for repeated expansion and contraction of the spring. The use of Teflon and/or other suitable coatings may be used where the spring connects to the post. Sealed lubricated fittings may be included in the post assembly.
Scissor Hinge Styled Slide-Out Mechanism
Google's patent FIG. 10 shown below is a schematic top view of a smartphone utilizing a scissor hinge styled slide-out mechanism in a closed position; FIG. 12 is a schematic top view of the smartphone with the lid completely open; FIG. 13 is a schematic perspective view of a smartphone in a partially open position. The scissor hinge mechanism is to attach the lid 106 to the base 107.
Google states that the scissor hinge mechanism includes a bottom blade 902 and an upper blade 904. A fulcrum 906 joins the two blades in a scissors configuration. The fulcrum acts as a hinge or pivot between the blades as they operate in a scissors fashion. For example, the blades could pivot at the fulcrum whenever the lid moves relative to the base such as when the smartphone is opened or closed.
Serpentine Spring Styled Slide-Out Mechanism
And lastly, Google's Patent FIG. 8 is a schematic top view of a smartphone utilizing a serpentine spring styled slide-out mechanism. The serpentine spring 802 could be used instead of the tension coil spring 202 described in FIG. 4.
Google patent application was originally filed in January 2012 and published by the US Patent and Trademark Office this month. The key inventor to note is Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google and former CEO of Android. To review the full patent application, see number 20120099749.
The Patent Bolt blog presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. Revelations found in patent applications shouldn't be interpreted as rumor or fast-tracked according to rumor timetables. About Comments: Patent Bolt reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Sites Covering our Original Report
MacSurfer, Harahabr Russia, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, TechMediaLife, PhoneArena, El Androide Libre Spanish, ZDNet Belgium, CNET, Areamobile Germany, Mobil Sweden, Adroidpit Germany, Android App Tests Germany, Android Aplikace Czech Republic, TeK Portugal, Android Magazin German, Inside-Handy Germany, Know Your Cell, AndroidGuys, SmartDroid Germany, and more.
The sites that we link to above offer you an avenue to make your comments about this report in other languages. These great community sites also provide our guests with varying takes on Google's invention. Whether they're pro or con, you may find them to be interesting, fun or feisty. If you have the time, join in!