A new patent filing by BlackBerry reveals the company is possibly preparing to manufacture a smartphone with touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard. This is not a reincarnation of the Torch, but a new device that has a “storable keyboard with a pivoting cover.” The patent, filed June 14th, 2012 and revised on September 9th, 2014, shows a number of drawings that hint at a touch sensitive slider with a three-row physical keyboard. We’ve already seen the three-row keyboard surface on BlackBerry’s upcoming Passport, so this could become a reality.
While BlackBerry has created many QWERTY devices over the years, it is safe to say that the BlackBerry Passport has to be one of their more unique creations to do. For those hearing about the Passport for the first time, it is an upcoming handset from BlackBerry that will feature a QWERTY keyboard. However the keyboard is also a gesture-based keyboard, meaning that users can swipe over it to perform certain commands, as well as press the keys for regular typing. This cuts out the need for a large touchscreen display as well as the need for a touchpad-like device found in BlackBerry’s other QWERTY devices. That being said, it seems that BlackBerry could be working on newer keyboard-based devices that could be just as interesting, if not more. According to a post on BerryReview, Ofutur has discovered a couple of new patents from BlackBerry for two new devices which have been codenamed “Visa” and “Victoria”. As you can see in the patent above, it shows a device with a three-row keyboard. However what makes this interesting is that the keyboard can be folded away, thus exposing only one row of keys.