Earlier today, a report surfaced claiming BlackBerry would be bringing back the “belt” of five function keys, which is made up of The Call, Menu, Trackpad, Back, and End buttons.
Sources claim BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, will make the announcement during Mobile World Congress. If true, it may cause some fragmentation between all-touch and QWERTY BlackBerry devices.
However, what if, and this is a really BIG if, but what if BlackBerry plans to reintroduce the TrackPad for future fingerprint scanning functionality?
When Apple first announced the iPhone 5S with its fingerprint scanner, we reminded readers that BlackBerry at one time patented and planned on a future with BlackBerry devices having a fingerprint scanner.
As previously reported, BlackBerry filed a patent back in 2004 called “Apparatus and method of input and finger print recognition on a handheld electronic device” and was later granted the patent in 2009.
The patent reveals how fingerprint scanning could be accomplished through a touch pad. “Both [touch pads and finger print scanning] techniques are typically not provided simultaneously in handheld electronic devices. Although touch pads and finger print devices are common, touch pads may have very low resolution, and may use an interpretive algorithm to increase the apparent resolution, whereas finger print devices may have very high resolution. The limited surface area of a handheld electronic device may exclude the use of both touch pads and fingerprint devices simultaneously,” says the patent.
Many people felt Apple’s introduction of a fingerprint scanner was purely gimmicky. However, as seen with the HTC One Max and today with the Samsung Galaxy S5 announcement, other mobile OEMs don’t believe so. Now, three highly popular mobile devices utilize the power of fingerprint scanning technology.
Do you think there is a future with fingerprint scanners and BlackBerry smartphones? It might just be one added level of security that BlackBerry smartphones could one day offer to their enterprise customers.