The Facebook Phone Is Dead … Or Is It?

By David Cohen 

PatentBoltFacebookPhone650Just when you think rumors of a Facebook phone were squashed once and for all with the social network’s release of its Home Android overlay and Home’s HTC First flagship phone last year, Patent Bolt made an interesting discovery.

Patent Bolt unsurfaced a patent from 2011, indicating that Facebook is or was working on a smartphone with a unique feature: side-mounted touchpads.

Patent Bolt wrote:

These devices will be able to identify the presence, location, and movement of more than one touch input, such as two- or three-finger touches. A system incorporating one or more touch-based input devices may monitor one or more touch-sensitive surfaces for one or more touch or near touch inputs from a user.

When one or more such user inputs occur, the system may determine the distinct area(s) of contact and identify the nature of the touch or near touch input(s) via geometric features and geometric arrangements (e.g., location, movement), and determine if they correspond to various touch events (e.g., tap, drag, swipe, pinch).

A gesture recognition library of the smartphone can interpret the user’s touch input and identify the touch input corresponding to an upward flick event or gesture associated with back-mounted touch surface.

According to Patent Bolt, the phone concept also contained typical smartphone features such as sensors, speakers, a camera, GPS, LTE, voice recognition and replication, SD cards, flash memory cards, and a fingerprint reader.

Readers: What do you think of this concept, and will it ever become a reality?

Images courtesy of Patent Bolt.