Samsung has filed a patent for a mobile phone with a qwerty hard keyboard that flips out from the body of the phone on either side of the screen.
The patent application shows a standard mobile handset, with the two keyboard halves swinging down from a housing inside the device. This would allow a larger hard keyboard than the Palm Pre or BlackBerry and eliminate the need for a software keyboard such as the one found in Apple’s iPhone.
“Because the mobile terminal according to exemplary embodiments of the present invention provides a wide screen and keypad layout through the touch screen and the keypad extended to both sides of the touch screen, the user can conveniently use various application programs through the mobile terminal,” says the filing.
The difficulties of inputting text have been cited as a major brake on the adoption of mobile phones as an internet platform. While many designs have been tried none has yet decisively solved the problem.
Samsung hopes that the new design will not only get round this obstacle but also allow the phone to be used as a more effective gaming platform.
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