RIM working on customizable keyboards according to patents

According to some patent filings that the gang over at N4BB got their hands on, RIM appears to be working on some customizable keyboards for their devices.  The patents seem to be specifically orientated to the physical keyboards, but the best guess is that RIM would also bring this concept to the virtual keyboard as well.  The concept of having multiple keyboard setups, depending on the use case, does sound every intriguing and is something I would really like to get my hands on.  The patent also includes a nice little snippet detailing the idea,

“A customizable keyboard for a handheld electronic device is provided. The keys of the keyboard are rotatable, either individually or in groups, either under manual control of a user of the device or by means of one or more micro-motors or solenoids controlled by a microprocessor running software on the device. The keyboard may be integrated in the device or may be detachable therefrom.”

I am sold on this idea and really hope that we do see it come to fruition and not get dumped by the wayside by RIM due to costs or market studies showing that people don’t like the idea.  The one issue I can see with the use of micro-motors is whether or not they will hold up the abuse that some people put their phones through. Hit the jump to check out some more diagrams from the patent filing.

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