It worked for Coke, American Muscle Cars, why not Blackberry devices. That must be the thinking in Waterloo when they announced last week that they’d be bringing back the look, feel and similar hardware that made some of their classic devices such a success. I’m talking about the trackpad and associated physical buttons of course. Oh sure, so reaching back into the hardware bin makes perfect sense…wait, what?
As a former Blackberry owner for some time, I can tell you the transition from the dial to the trackball to the trackpad was an interesting one. By the time touchscreen devices were commonplace for blackberry, I was long gone. One thing I’ve noticed when I demo Blackberry devices is the disappointment I get when muscle memory goes looking for that pivotal navigation tool and finds it’s not there. Maybe Blackberry had it right?
If I read this editorial correctly, it would be easy to assume that not only in the trackpad coming back, but it will lie beneath the screen, have fingerprint capabilities and some interesting illumination effects. You get the functionality and positioning, but without sacrificing space and losing it when not needed. In my opinion, that could be worthwhile. If you add the fact that a swipe-based physical keyboard is being developed with multi-mode keys (and less of them) the kind of flexible and contextual device I might like to own materializes. Blackberry may be too forgone to make this its ticket to recovery, but hopefully the market will benefit from the design and technology.