May 13th, 2014

Facebook Phone patent bite

Patents are fun. Often times they offer a sneak peek into the mind of its inventor. But just because a big company files for a patent doesn’t always mean it’s something we’ll see come to fruition. More than often, they’re simply trying to cover their bases in the event they decide to move in that direction.  You know, before someone else steals their idea.

While digging through some recent filings at the USTPO, we came across an interesting patent from our friends at Facebook. A continuation of a patent filed back in October of 2011, it appears that we’re once again seeing Facebook toy with the idea of a future where side-mounted touchpads are just another way of interacting with our mobile devices.

In the patent, Facebook shows how users would interact with their applications — such as Facebook Home — using a side-mounted touchpad. What we found particularly odd was the fact that we still haven’t seen a phone with a trackpad as a secondary form of input, leaving us to scratch our heads as to exactly what Facebook is even trying to patent here.

Still, it makes us think. With the upcoming Amazon smartphone exploring new technologies like 4 infrared cameras to help track eye movement, could Facebook be planning yet another foray into the mobile device space — this time with a touchpad on its side? Even with the flop that was the HTC First “Facebook phone,” maybe old habits die hard.


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