RIM Introduces Breakthrough Keyboard Technology for Smaller Handsets
"SureType" Solves The Paradox of Function vs. Form
September 16, 2004
Waterloo, ON - The new patent-pending SureType™ keyboard technology from Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) is turning heads and drawing early praise for its ingenuity and effectiveness. The BlackBerry 7100™ Series handsets are the first wireless devices to feature SureType.
SureType effectively converges a phone keypad and a QWERTY keyboard to fit elegantly within the size constraints of a traditional mobile phone form factor. Through an integrated keyboard and software system, SureType provides users with an instinctively familiar look and feel and allows them to dial phone numbers and type messages quickly, accurately and comfortably.
"Mobile professionals are torn between their need for a device that offers efficient data input capabilities and their desire for a device they can accept as their primary mobile phone," says Kevin Burden, Program Manager at IDC. "While some full QWERTY thumbboards deliver the input accuracy that professionals need, the market has awaited a keyboard design that is as quick, accurate, and easy to use as QWERTY solutions, but doesn't compromise the phone experience."
The SureType keyboard design incorporates large, optimally placed keys that allow one-handed or two-handed operation. Each key contains a maximum of two letters and the letters are aligned in a standard QWERTY layout. The keyboard works in conjunction with a sophisticated, real-time software system that incorporates a large word database (approximately 35,000 words initially plus the user's address book), linguistic intelligence and advanced learning capabilities to automatically interpret keystrokes and recognize words with a high degree of accuracy. SureType dramatically outshines the traditional multi-tap phone approach, allowing users to concentrate on the message rather than the method.
In addition to incorporating the QWERTY keyboard layout, the SureType keyboard design also incorporates a prominent numerical phone keypad that is centred on the device and allows easy and familiar one-handed phone dialing. Dedicated 'send' and 'end' phone keys are also included for convenience.
"SureType is an evolutionary breakthrough that hits a sweet spot in terms of usability and size. It solves the paradox of fitting an efficient QWERTY keyboard with reasonably sized keys into a traditional candy-bar handset design," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion.
RIM revolutionized wireless handheld devices in the 1990's with the introduction of a thumb-typing QWERTY keyboard that changed the way mobile users thought about composing messages and entering data. Now RIM's new SureType technology is changing the way people think about typing on mobile phones.
Note to Editors:
Photos of the BlackBerry 7100 Series devices with SureType are available at http://www.rim.com/news/kit/media/downloads/index.shtml.
About Research In Motion (RIM)
Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM's portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.
Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used herein, words such as "intend" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions made by and information available to Research In Motion Limited. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements include, without limitation, possible product defects and product liability, risks related to international sales and potential foreign currency exchange fluctuations, the initiation or outcome of litigation, acts or potential acts of terrorism, international conflicts, significant fluctuations of quarterly operating results, changes in Canadian and foreign laws and regulations, continued acceptance of RIM's products, increased levels of competition, technological changes and the successful development of new products, dependence on third-party networks to provide services, dependence on intellectual property rights and other risks and factors detailed from time to time in RIM's periodic reports filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory authorities. The Company has no intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
The BlackBerry, SureType and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM, Research In Motion and BlackBerry are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be pending or registered in other countries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners.