HTC has filed a patent application for a handheld electronic device that combines a multi-directional slider design with a keypad stretched beyond the dimensions of the gadget’s display. HTC_patent_slide HTC's patent sketch: the large keypad slides in many directions The application, which was filed with the US Patent and …
Not an N810, oh no
You ask "It also begs the question, why not just make the screen as large as the keyboard?"
Perhaps because if you did it would be a Nokia N810 ...
..that the reason the screen is smaller than the keyboard is that when it is in portrait mode the device can be utilised much like a standard candybar style device and that when in landscape mode it can be utilised like a pda with a full qwerty keyboard with decent keys it could be quite a neat little device.
Exposed keyboard is useful
The reason why the screen does not cover the whole keyboard is because an exposed numeric keyboard is very useful for both rapidly dialing numbers and navigating around the OS.
This design is not qualitatively different from the HTC Vox, but presumably adds a certain gimmicky feature set to the phone, and removing that annoying offset where the screen is not centered over they keyboard when the Vox is opened.
But as the Reg points out, why not make the screen larger?
Now I'm a big guy at 6'2" and when my older crackberry died, I wanted a new phone. I checked my phone usage and I spent more time doing e-mails than talking.
So I searched out for a phone that would offer the following:
1) a large(r) keyboard so I could easily thumb type.
2) Blue tooth capability
3) the larger keyboard be a full querty keyboard.
Now since I work as a contractor for a certain map making company, I wanted to try out the GPS. And since I'm really of the "Microsoft as a last resort" camp, I wanted a phone that wouldn't be Microsoft OS based.
That left the iPhone, Nokia E90 and of course the "newer" crackberrys.
I settled for the Nokia E90.
The iPhone's "keyboard" was still to hard to manage, lacked true GPS, while the plus... No moving parts. (And that's a big plus.
The crackberrys they shrunk the keyboard and the last I heard, they were yet again involved in a patent suit.
The Nokia? Nicest keyboard, decent sound. and when you pair it with a blue tooth headset, you can keep the phone in a back pack/brief case, or a purse and still receive call. Sure it has GPS, but here in Chicago (Downtown) it takes a while to get a GPS signal so the mapping functionality isn't all too good. (Sorry Nokia I wasn't impressed.) The other nice thing is that it has two screens. The camera is OK, and it would be nice if Nokia took the video calling feature and tied it to a wi-fi based IM so that while you're not making a video call, you can still use it for a video chat. (We don't have "true" 3G here in the states.)
Why am I saying this?
Well for one thing, the full QWERTY keyboard is a nice thing to have. Makes writting decent e-mails rather than texting a good thing.
HTC has a novel design of a 2 position swivel point.Slide up and rotate. But the negative is that this may wear out and not be a good long term design.
IMHO, I would much rather have an N810 if it had phone capabiliies, extendable memory, etc ...
Please note that I don't believe that these smartphones are for the average consumer but for the business user who can take advantage of the technology.
I chose the Bill Gates as evil since I don't trust the security of an y Microsoft product. Especially on a phone. ;-)
@ Ian Gumby
If you don't like Windows Mobile devices you're not going to want a HTC as that's all they seem to do - I think they did one or two that weren't and went back.
Shame you're missing out as Windows Mobile is a fantastic OS for a mobile phone (far better than symbian and RIM's efforts I've used - I would even say better than the iPhone but can't be bothered with the fanboi flames). Unlike there desktop OS's MS have done a good job here - originally had a HTC Prophet (Orange M600 in the UK) and when that went out of contract I wanted to get as far away from Orange as I could so picked up a HTC Kaiser from O2 (XDA Stellar they call it).
Does everything you say, large easy to use keyboard, GPS & Bluetooth along with pretty much everything else you could cram into a phone (EDGE, 3G, HSDPA) and looks very swanky with it's metallic finish.
Shame you ignored a great phone based on an ill-concieved predujice (or however it's spelt). Your loss :D
But will it have any video drivers?
IBM had a compact laptop which keyboard slid out the sides when the laptop was opened. This was on the market about 10 years ago.
Perhaps this bunch use a different arrangement of levers. In the USA, of course, that is an innovation worthy of patenting.
but it just looks shit. As for the multi directional slider, I bet it wouldn't last 5 minutes in the real world. This just looks like patent filing for the sake of it! Maybe they're hoping someone will make something (vaguely) similar, then scream "patent infrigement!"
I could be wrong, of course!
I have three phones. One private, one work, and one work crackberry. Private phone is an O2 orbit 2, which is awesome. I rate that as the best phone I have. Apart from crackberry, third phone is a candybar nokia (s60). The HTC phone (my third. Gone from Mini IIs to Orbit to Orbit 2) is awesome. Gorgeous to look at, easy to use, and a great OS. And I can download plenty of applications for it, should I require it.
It's a shame people are so bloody closeminded about MS products that they would overlook what I consider to be the best manufacturer of phones.
Choosing Paris, cause she is confused by what a mobile phone is.
a superb Idea! I upgraded from an M600 (Touch screen) to a HTC Vox and having 'real' keys always to hand makes life so much easier!! the ability to dial numbers without having to look at the screen is so nice!
the multi slide is novel, having the display central over the keybaord is good, not that you notice it to one side on the Vox, but it does secure HTC another patent on a direction, even if its not used!!
no fanboyism on OS here... certainly not from me, now loving my 4th version of WM (6.1 ;) on the M600) :) no... I dont think its better or worse than the rest! lol!! ;)
It looks like shit because it is a patent filing. It needs to show what the patent covers and absolutely nothing else. You'll find that a fair number of patent filing diagrams look like shit. No-one wants to give anything unnecessary away.
As for lasting <5minutes in the real world... anything can be engineered to be strong enough given sufficient need. Look at stupid, flimy, fragile connections on tablet pc screens, or fold out and twist camera screens for example. They seem to survive, more or less, and don't have anywhere near the robustness of a decent pair of rails as this design has.
Reg readers giving even a qualified thumbs up to the patenting of anything at all is one of the signs of the End Times and Last Days...
The N810 is memory-expandable via miniSD cards (up to 8GB at the moment). It can also use any Bluetooth phone as a modem for GSM, GPRS, or 3G access.
Phone already exists
I already have a phone like this: In the USA it's available as the Helio Ocean. Slide one way for the querty keyboard, another for the number pad. Only difference from the patent described is that the screen is the same size as the keyboard layers.
reminds of of my old idea: a two-level display...
For storage, the top half would submarine (slide down) below the bottom half. For use, the lower-level display would slide up and dock flush (bottom bezel to top bezel) with its mate. To visualize the movement, think how the wings moved up and out on the IBM ThinkPad's old butterfly keyboard of the 1990s. In effect, you could have a 640 x 480 display in the stored area of a 320x240.
Now that I've put this idea "out there," I suppose it's public domain, meaning I can't patent it. But I hope this means, "Neither can anyone else."