The Quest towards directional keys

Dear blog readers,

This blog is opened to tell you the story behind JetKeys as well as update you in news and ideas that are connected to Jetkeys enterprise.

The idea to use directional keys in mobile device emerges to my mind on 1999. I got a new cellular phone with standard 12 keys keyboard. The phone came with application like calendar and email but texting more then dew words messages was very hard. The main way to text was by multi-taping and the text prediction options like T9 performance was also very poor.

My vission was that any 12 keys numeric keyboard in a cell-phone will have the following layout.

4-way standard 12 keys numeric keyboard layout

So the letter ‘a’ would be typed by directional activation (i.e., pressing, tilting, swiping or sliding) of the #2 key leftwards and typing ‘b’ and ‘c’ will be typed by activation the #2 key upwards or rightwards. Typing the digit 2 would be done by regular activation, i.e., pressing the key or directional activation downward of the key.

Many sketches of phone and keys design where made. The phone sketch that I liked the most is the following:

JetKeys concept phone

A patent application US09/518,634 had been filed on 3 of March 2000. The directional key mechanical designs as well as some designs of key shapes from the patent application are presented next.

Mechanical key implementations

Key shapes

In the next post I will briefly speak on the next episode: founding the first company, JetWay Technologies LTD.