RIM applies for patent for Smartphone Dock in the form of a Netbook
In late Q3 2012, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from RIM that reveals a new mobile smartphone docking station that comes in the form of a netbook. For those on the go, it could be an interesting way to charge your smartphone while giving you a notebook-like tool so that you could type up your reports or briefs quickly using a standard keyboard.
A Different Kind of Smartphone Dock
RIM`s patent FIG. 6 shown below illustrates an exemplary embodiment of the modular communication device 200 that could work with a control module (210), presented here as a smartphone. The smartphone could be coupled with a terminal docking station module 620 that is in the form of a netbook. In patent FIG. 7 we see an illustration of a smartphone in a docked position on the docking tray 635.
In patent figure 8 shown below we see that the smartphone/control module is positioned differently so that it could double as a touch pad interface when in the docked state. Whether that’s by having a docking tray in the front of the netbook or some kind of slot or indent on the top of the netbook isn’t really described.
Another point that RIM makes is that the netbook/docking station could include high-capacity batteries (# 710) that maintain a charge for an extended period of time. They would fit into the hinge of the netbook. The docking tray shown, shown as # 635, further includes terminals to re-charge the batteries provided in the control module or smartphone.
It’s an interesting idea, but it would end up being a little bulky. In the era of slick thin design form factors, this looks a little outdated before it ever gets off the ground. On the other hand, if style isn’t an important factor to you as a business user, then it just might offer the classic Blackberry lover with a rather powerful new travel tool. Time will tell if RIM ever gets this idea off the ground and into the market in a timely manner.
For more details on this invention, see RIM’s patent application 20120225622.