You know those ergonomic keyboards that are split down the middle? According to a patent filed this month by Research In Motion, the company is seemingly planning to take this technology to their BlackBerry line.
This would be an effort to reduce what is termed as Blackberry Thumb (or Gamer’s Thumb, for you video game addicts).
The thumbs are not meant for such rigorous movements as tapping out 30 emails in a sitting. It looks a little funky — the angle is a bit steeper than we had first imagined. We suppose this would take a lot of flak at first, since people don’t particularly like it when familiar things change (e.g., the abolition of the side-scroll wheel on the BB 8800).
From the patent application:
Handheld mobile communication devices can be used to send electronic mail and other data messages. These types of communications often take time to enter the desired text and cause the user fatigue and difficulty of use. Even though these devices have the ability to send text messages, the entry of text requires skill and can be laborious, causing user fatigue. The layout of a standard QWERTY array of keys can be advantageously arranged where the keys are not vertically aligned. Furthermore, handheld mobile communication devices are today being designed with smaller widths which present a challenge in designing a keyboard that is both easy to use and has large enough keys for a user. Users of handheld communication devices often make use of their thumbs for striking the keys.
So not only can this be a relief for your thumbs, but it can be a way to get the same amount of keys on a smaller device. Since it seems that our cellular devices are getting smaller and smaller every day, this patent app fits in well. Of course, people’s opinions are going to vary greatly on this.
Some people who oppose it now are going to love it after using it for a week or so. So what says you, loyal reader? Would you use a BlackBerry with an angular keyboard? (For the record, we absolutely abhor the ergonomic PC keyboards.)