back to article Samsung smartphone keyboard takes wing

Samsung has filed a patent for a handheld device that trumps both the Palm Pre's too-tiny keyboard and the screen-hogging soft keyboard of Apple's iPhone. The Korean company's solution is a two-piece keyboard that folds out from either side of the device. The application, entitled Mobile Terminal Having Rear Keypad, envisions …


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  1. night troll

    Zaphod Beeblebrox....

    ....must be alive and well working for Samsung.

  2. JMiles

    Looks crude

    I have to say the best mobile keyboard I ever used was the Psion 5. The fold out clamshell design allowed for near full-size keys in a compact case. I would be tempted if someone brought out a phone or maybe compact netbook with that design today.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    it is not a stylus: it's proboscis!

    the Koreans DID IT AGAIN!

    It is truly revolutionary: you use your nose on the touch screen.

  4. barfridge

    3 hands?

    I come equiped as standard with opposable thumbs, they really are a fantastic feature.

    With these I can cradle the phone using my fingers, and use my thumbs to type on the keypads.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    you know what else has wings?

    maxi pads.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It's all for trade shows... have one well-proportioned honey cradling the unit (I mean, the phone) on her chest, while the user gets to do the typing on the keypad.

    It'll sell like crazy.

    PH, obviously, would be a fine first choice.

  7. Paul532
    Thumb Up

    great idea! I have a suggestion.

    I hate those tiny and clumsy keyboards as well as the slowness of the virtual keyboard and its equally small size. Anyone over 40 will begin to appreciate the larger keyboard.

    My concern:

    If you use this on your lap and the smartphone is between your legs, it will fall to a bad angle as well as skew the keyboard seating.

    My suggestion:

    Why don't you add extending rods at the top of the phone or some other kind of "top of phone" extension to keep the phone flat and parallel to the keyboard. I would love to buy one if it had that kind of feature.

  8. Kanhef


    Having to put it down on a flat surface is a major drawback. If the 'wings' swing upward, the keys could be thumb-operated. Less efficient than full-fingered input, but better than tiny on-screen keys. For touch-typists, you could put the keys on the back of the device - easy to use, easy to hold, thumbs can manipulate the screen.

  9. Matt 13


    didnt nokia sell a phone with wings that folded out either side of the screen? it was crap!

  10. JP Strauss

    @AC 02:42 GMT

    You DO know of course that PH is an A-cup?

  11. jj_0

    3 hands?

    We've all managed to use a keyboard and mouse on our regular PC's for years with 2 hands, I don't see why we suddenly need 3 hands for this then.

    If the Good Lord had intended us to interact efficiently with these devices we would have been Intelligently Designed with Bluetooth, ot at least a USB port...

  12. boingo
    Thumb Down

    Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue

    Anyone else see the resemblance? Honestly how long to think that keyboard will last before it breaks.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wasn't there already a Nokia that actually did this? I don't think the swung down, but the keyboard definately folded out from both sides, from behind the device.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samsung usability of handheld gadgets

    I have a Samsung tv and dvd player/HD recorder.

    Quite nice hardware in itself, for the price, but both have dismally designed remote controls. The button which turns on teletext is miles away from the button which turns it off, for example, which is a pain. (Yes, some of us still use teletext) The 'play' button on the DVD remote sometimes does the right thing, other times you have to use the centre of the 5-way button constellation, all depending on context.

    There are other horrors, too. Frankly, I have very low expectations about Samsung's usability drive, but live in hope. At least people will see this gadget before they buy it, unlike remote controls, which rarely become part of the sales talk at (e.g.) Dixons.

  15. David Edwards

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

    Does anyone else think it was inspired by the old chitty chitty bang bang toys?

  16. Ascylto

    Missing the point

    Contributors so far have missed the point.

    The 'wings' are to facilitate inter-office memos. You enter the co-ordinates on the large screen then launch the device into the air. The wings deploy and cruise between colleagues/offices delivering the missives before you can say 'Bob's yer Uncle".

  17. Gerard Krupa


    OK it's just a diagram but it looks to me like either of those two 'wings' would snap off altogether too easily if you didn't handle it with extreme kid gloves.

  18. Tim Walker

    Prior art

    The "wings"-type folding keyboard has been done before, on at least one of Nokia's phones (the E70 (2006), and I think there was at least one other). Not that it's a bad idea - I'd like to see it appear more often - but just not an especially new one.

  19. Barry Tabrah

    Warm up the Disney lawyers

    To infinity and beyond!

  20. John Robson Silver badge

    Nokia 6820

    Had a flip system which provided the same function.

    Of course that's too old to be prior art, or is swinging different from flipping?

  21. Greg J Preece

    Or how about...

    ...having the back of the phone swivel round 90 degrees to form the wings? It would undoubtedly be more solid.

  22. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    This is going to be fun in A&E

    ".. well, you see, I always carry the phone in my trouser pocket and the keyboard flipped open.."

    "And nobody told you just how strong that spring was?"

    "No, owww. Can you stitch it back on, doc?"

    "Hmm. We'll try. Nurse, NURSE, prep for another Samsung user. And stop laughing!"

    Quality. I love designers with a sense of humour, I really do. They nearly got away with it too..

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't Nokia already do something like this?

    It wasn't as big but the keyboard swung out to create a very weird shape.

  24. Seamaster
    Paris Hilton

    Come back Psion, all is forgiven

    JMiles is bang on above. How can it be that in the many years since the demise of the Series 5 and Revo no one, but no one, has advanced on Psion's keyboard technology? Even more baffling is why Psion have licenced the tech to anyone (other than Amstrad for that p¡ss poor Emailer thing).

    The thought of an iPhone with a Revo keyboard has me salivating.

    (Paris, because opening up a Psion was always a joy.)

  25. Des
    Thumb Up

    I'm with JMiles Posted Thursday 9th July 2009 01:09 GMT

    I had a Psion Series 5 and it was without doubt the best compact keyboard I ever typed on. Nothing has come close to it in terms of phone/pdas. I also have a wireless mini Logitech keyboard (for my media center pc) that fails because its just that little bit too small.

    The Psion 3G would get my vote!!!

  26. Adam T

    Sanitary Towel

    One for the girls then...

  27. thomas k.
    Thumb Up

    In recent news ...

    Come on, 3 hands?

    This is obviously intended for the Japanese "pr0n-on the-mobe" market - the touch screen is operated via a user-supplied stylus.

  28. David Paul Morgan

    remember this

    from siemens?

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