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OPPO patents a smartphone keyboard case

OPPO may have patented this, but...why though? (Source: WIPO)
OPPO may have patented this, but...why though? (Source: WIPO)
Phones with dedicated keyboards are more or less a thing of the past at this point. However, OPPO has patented a new product that may bring them back, albeit on an optional basis. The resulting "keyboard case" has a layout probably chosen for its relatively small footprint.

One of the more interesting aspect of LG flagship phones of the last few years have been their compatibility with first-party Dual Screen cases that afford these devices with a full secondary display once installed. Now, it seems another OEM, OPPO, has decided to design an answer of sorts for it.

The resulting patent, uploaded to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) on April 24, 2020, depicts a similar type of wallet-style case. However, the phone in question is not paired with a screen when placed into it; rather, it apparently gains access to a keyboard on the opposite face of this accessory.

This keyboard is distinctly of the 'island' variety, to a degree that might make the viewer wonder if it is to be operated with the user's thumbs alone. Furthermore, the entirety of this part of the claimed design seems to be flat, inviting speculation that it might be a virtual keyboard along the lines of the Lenovo Yoga Book.

It is difficult to say if this apparent accessory would be exclusive to this company's phones or not; the patent involves a fairly generic-looking waterdrop-notched mobile display. In addition, given the additional Chinese-language keys alongside an essentially QWERTY layout, it seems it would be destined for the OEM's home market as a real-world product.

Some images from the new OPPO patent. (Source: WIPO via LetsGoDigital)
Some images from the new OPPO patent. (Source: WIPO via LetsGoDigital)


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-05- 4 (Update: 2020-05- 4)