Not long ago, the BlackBerry ‘Windermere’ had allegedly surfaced in a few leaked images. It was later claimed that this upcoming QWERTY device would be rocking touch sensitive keys on its physical keyboard.
Lending credence to the rumors, BlackBerry recently filed a patent for “TEMPORARY KEYBOARD HAVING SOME INDIVIDUAL KEYS THAT PROVIDE VARYING LEVELS OF CAPACITIVE COUPLING TO A TOUCH-SENSITIVE DISPLAY.”
Having a keyboard with touch sensitive keys, means it has a physical keyboard overlay on a touchscreen. This would allow the keyboard to have two primary functions of operation: one for clicking and the other for touch gestures.
Here’s a synopsis of the design from the patent filing:
[quote_box_center]“A physical keyboard having a plurality of individual keys temporarily overlays a touch-sensitive display. Each individual key selectively provides either of a first level of capacitive coupling and a second, different level of capacitive coupling to the touch-sensitive display. By one approach the key provides that first level of capacitive coupling to the touch-sensitive display when a user asserts the key (for example, by pressing upon the key) to thereby communicate to the touch-sensitive display a selection of that individual key. The key can provide that second level of capacitive coupling when a user touches, but does not assert, the individual key. So configured, this second level of capacitive coupling serves to communicate to the touch-sensitive display an input instruction other than a selection of that individual key.”[/quote_box_center]