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Interchangeable Keyboard/Controller Face Plate for a Mobile Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000130495D
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

1. Users who want to use only one mobile communication device are forced to choose between phone and larger "PDA-like" form-factor smart phones. There is a trade-off of size vs. "input convenience". Smaller handhelds are less cumbersome to carry, but as a result of their size, they provide fewer keys/controls to the user. Larger handhelds are more cumbersome to carry, but have more space for keys and controls. The user is forced to choose between size and "input convenience."

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INTERCHANGEABLE KEYBOARD

Interchangeable Keyboard/Controller Face Plate for a

Mobile

Device

Disclosed Anonymously

1. Users who want to use only one mobile communication device are forced to choose between phone and larger "PDA-like" form-factor smart phones. There is a trade-off of size vs. "input convenience".  Smaller handhelds are less cumbersome to carry, but as a result of their size, they provide fewer keys/controls to the user.  Larger handhelds are more cumbersome to carry, but have more space for keys and controls.  The user is forced to choose between size and "input convenience."

Some mobile devices allow the user to connect external controllers/keyboards, but the size of the device increases considerable since the existing keyboard/controller on the device still takes up valuable space and space could also be sacrificed to provide the external peripheral's connection (e.g. a keyboard attached to a USB interface on the device needs space for the USB connector). 

2. The existing and non-replaceable keyboard/controller interface on a mobile device may not be well suited to certain applications (e.g. a keyboard may not be well suited to playing games).

3. Multi-lingual users are restricted to one keyboard/controller with one set of keys, which restricts them from "directly" inputting languages that do not use the same alpha-numeric symbols as on the keyboard/controller.  For example, a QWERTY keyboard can be used to directly input the English language but it cannot be used to directly input the Japanese language, which has a different alphabet.  Languages that are not well suited to the keyboard/controller need to be entered by "indirect" and alternative means, which could be more difficult to learn and more inconvenient to the user.  Additionally, some countries have different keyboard layouts then the QWERTY layout and a mobile device's keyboard interface may not seem as intuitive to users in such countries as to users in Countries that do adopt the QWERTY layout.

4. The user is restricted to the manner of input that their mobile device provides.  For example, some users don't have the option of using a stylus pen as a means of input.

5. A non-removable "open-faced" mobile device's keyboard provides a slight security hole in the sense that an attacker who steals the device has the option of inputting data.

A mobile device with an interchangeable keyboard / controller face plate that is easy to change solves the problems above.  Interchangeable keyboards / controllers could work much like the "snap-on"/ejectable face plates used as interfaces for some car stereo systems.  The user could "eject" their current keyboard/control...