Oct 31 AT 7:10 PM Taylor Wimberly 11 Comments

Motorola Motus could feature an interesting gimmick

Remember that leaked Motorola roadmap we showed you a couple weeks ago? It got me thinking and I have a little story to tell you. Hopefully this will make sense, but I have been known to ramble.

Dialaphone obtained this leaked roadmap.

Dialaphone obtained this leaked roadmap.

It was one of the first times we spotted the Motorola Motus, but little was known about the phone at the time. We have a lot of friends at Moto so I have been trying to pry some details out of them. From what I had been hearing, the phone sounded like a Cliq clone (same guts) but it was headed for Verizon. Motorola said during their last earnings call that Verizon would have a Motoblur device in 2010, so I began to assume that Motus might be the first.

I was not really that excited about the prospect of another Cliq-like phone, until we heard of a brand new feature: “reverse flip keyboard“.

What the heck is a reverse flip keyboard? A quick Google search revealed the following video.

After watching the clip, I was still a little confused. What would you do with a touchpad on the back of a mobile phone keyboard?

I looked up the origin of the word Motus and found it was latin for gesture. This reminded me that Google recently added gesture controls to Android 1.6.

Few developers have yet to impletment gesture controls in their apps.

Few devs have yet to impletment gesture controls.

This is pure speculation, but it appears the next version of Motoblur (based on Android 2.0) will center around gesture controls. Motorola hinted at this during the last earnings call, but it was kind of vague. Moto CEO Sanjay Jha said, “Motoblur’s robust functionality will be updated periodically and over time will be enhanced to solve other consumer problems.”

If Motorola decides to focus on gesture controls, a touchpad would be a nice addition to highlight this feature. I’m not sure why you need a touchpad when you have a 3.1 inch touchscreen, but it would certainly be a unique feature I have never seen on a phone before.

The Motorola Motus could certainly be one weird device.

Update: Mr. Anonymous has left a comment describing how this device works.

You usually hold the device like any candybar factor form device but behind your hand instead of having the back of the device you have the keyboard sitting there with the camera on the side of it (It has to be there since THAT is the back of the device). You can flip the keyboard so that it ends up under the screen which would then be in landscape (end up like the G1 or any other “slider” keyboard devices).

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  • Jeff

    I more interested in the Sholes Tablet, I will wait a while before getting the Droid/Sholes.

    If Sholes Tablet is a nice price, comes to the US, and doesnt have MotoBlur, and has the same processor I will pick it up instead of the Droid/Sholes.

    I assume Tablet means no keyboard, which is fine the 8MP camera and 720p, is good enough for me. Seems the Tablet Sholes will be competing with SE Racheal/X3/X10 =)

  • Jeff

    Very interesting concept, would be really interesting to see it on a cellphone. Would Moto be the first? Would this start a trend like the RAZR?

    As you said though, it just speculation.

  • Anon

    This post is wrong, I have personally played around with the Motus in my line of work and I can tell you how it works.

    You usually hold the device like any candybar factor form device but behind your hand instead of having the back of the device you have the keyboard sitting there with the camera on the side of it (It has to be there since THAT is the back of the device). You can flip the keyboard so that it ends up under the screen which would then be in landscape (end up like the G1 or any other “slider” keyboard devices).

    I have NOO idea what’s the use of having a keyboard behind your hand, if you turn the device around you can’t see the screen anymore so I really don’t get the point of it.

    • Jeff

      What do you mean :your line of work” a Moto employee?

      • Anon

        Software developer for mobile devices

  • Scott

    10+ on the Motorola Tablet comment!

  • Zav

    I think this is how the “reverse flip keyboard” works:
    Some older model phones has a cover for the keyboard which you need to flip it open in order to access the keyboard. Now imagine the cover is on the back of the phone, and the face of the “cover” itself is actually the keyboard keys. When you flip it open, the surface (which was facing the back) is now facing you, becomes a keyboard (your phone becomes “longer”).

  • chuksy

    Am even more confused after watching the video. lets wait and see

  • anon

    About six months ago, I got to play with a phone from a moto employee friend that was marked a prototype that opens in reverse of a normal flip phone. It had full touchscreen and there was a sensor on back that acted like a mouse or touchpad giving much more control on the screen while using the full qwert keyboard. The phone had some killer apps with it. Bunched w a 5meg auto focus cam, I can’t wait til it out in the stores.

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