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Project ARA sliding Keyboard

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By Poke_N_PDA, Senior Member on 2nd March 2014, 03:33 PM
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So for years I've loved sliding keyboards. However, I've been driven away from them by the lack of decent phones. I long for the day of a high end qwerty slider again and it seems I may finally have my chance with Project Ara.

That being said, I'm wondering if I should try to get involved and be a part of the initial movement by partnering with others to make one. I'm also considering an attempt to travel out to the conference to find like minded people to make this vision a reality. I'm posting here to see if there are any others who might share this vision.

I don't have any experience in this specific field, but I am an electrical engineer and I am just about to complete my MBA with an entrepreneurial focus.
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4th March 2014, 08:09 AM |#2  
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I just found this thread via a search engine, don't know who you are, and I have nothing to contribute except a mighty strong desire for you to succeed. Please, go forth on behalf of us forgotten keyboard lovers and bring back a little of the glory days!

I admit I am still skeptical of the ARA thing, but on the other hand it seems to be the only likely chance we have get a phone that is both good and has a physical slider keyboard.
5th March 2014, 01:29 AM |#3  
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I'm having trouble understanding how you expect a qwerty slider on ARA. I currently use a Droid 4 and enjoy the extra screen space and ease of use it allows. Are you suggesting that the keyboard could be part of a module? Would it be the whole length of the phone? Would it cover or extend across multiple modules? Or would it be more of a case-like accessory that could be easily removed for convenience or customization? I would just like to know what you had in mind.

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17th March 2014, 09:27 PM |#4  
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Tutorial Idea on how to implament.
What about if it was a case for the back only, which has a module on the bottom of it. Kinda hard to explain so I'll just open up paint and show a ploopy rendition of it. I LOVE the idea and was thinking the same thing! Included picture explains a little better. I'd love to help and I am a electronic designer myself! I also do lots of Android code and such and would love to help implament this. PM me!
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22nd April 2014, 05:10 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crutchcorn

What about if it was a case for the back only, which has a module on the bottom of it. Kinda hard to explain so I'll just open up paint and show a ploopy rendition of it. I LOVE the idea and was thinking the same thing! Included picture explains a little better. I'd love to help and I am a electronic designer myself! I also do lots of Android code and such and would love to help implament this. PM me!

That is an option, but I guess it would have to be an "unofficial" (i.e. not in Google's module store) module if it covers other modules. Alternatively you could have connector between the module and the keyboard case, but then you'd need to attach the case to the phone in a different way.

Another downside of doing it that way is that it covers the camera. If it can be made to not cover the camera when the keyboard is retracted, I guess that would be quite OK.

Another option is to put it on the display module:
Code:
############################
#        display           #  The keyboard and the display
#--------------------------#  would be on the same module.
#    keyboard              #
############################
#         endo             #
############################

                ############################
                #        display           #
#################----------#################
#   keyboard               #
############################
#         endo             #
############################
To avoid the awkward edges on the left/right of the keyboard, the module could be made slightly thicker to drown them, if necessary (I don't think the edges would get into my way the way I hold my qwerty slider, but might be different for others - also, the keyboard module might already be thick enough to drown them enough without added articifial thickness).

Note that the MDK allows endos to have a single front module (type G, section 2.2.2 in the MDK PDF), so there may not be a second module "in the way" (but if there is, again I don't see it is a huge issue, could be mitigated with thickness if needed).

The downside of doing it this way is that it has to be integrated with a display, otherwise this seems better than other options I've seen imho.
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22nd April 2014, 06:48 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsfdfsdfs

That is an option, but I guess it would have to be an "unofficial" (i.e. not in Google's module store) module if it covers other modules. Alternatively you could have connector between the module and the keyboard case, but then you'd need to attach the case to the phone in a different way.

Another downside of doing it that way is that it covers the camera. If it can be made to not cover the camera when the keyboard is retracted, I guess that would be quite OK.

Another option is to put it on the display module:

Code:
############################
#        display           #  The keyboard and the display
#--------------------------#  would be on the same module.
#    keyboard              #
############################
#         endo             #
############################

                ############################
                #        display           #
#################----------#################
#   keyboard               #
############################
#         endo             #
############################
To avoid the awkward edges on the left/right of the keyboard, the module could be made slightly thicker to drown them, if necessary (I don't think the edges would get into my way the way I hold my qwerty slider, but might be different for others - also, the keyboard module might already be thick enough to drown them enough without added articifial thickness).

Note that the MDK allows endos to have a single front module (type G, section 2.2.2 in the MDK PDF), so there may not be a second module "in the way" (but if there is, again I don't see it is a huge issue, could be mitigated with thickness if needed).

The downside of doing it this way is that it has to be integrated with a display, otherwise this seems better than other options I've seen imho.

Yeah no, I hear you. This was pre MDK and a lack of thought that lead me to suggest that. Another issue is that the MDK states that a module can only go above the endo if and only if it is on the top or bottom; no side expansion. I'm sure there's a way to design it so that it doesn't conflict with the camera but *shrug*. I like your ideas and you seem to know what to do
24th April 2014, 08:39 PM |#7  
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Ok so i was thinking. Since the concept I've seen to far has to do with the modules going on the back why not build it like and extension then build another module board on the back of the keyboard making it a bit bulkier but allowing for the keyboard.
1st May 2014, 12:27 PM |#8  
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The only possible way Ara is going to allow this is your standard "BlackBerry" type of keyboard. No Desire Z. No G1.

Personally I don't mind or care. As long as I get a keyboard on my Android, Im happy.
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1st May 2014, 03:36 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riahc3

The only possible way Ara is going to allow this is your standard "BlackBerry" type of keyboard. No Desire Z. No G1.

Personally I don't mind or care. As long as I get a keyboard on my Android, Im happy.

Why not a case with a built in desire z style keyboard? Hell it could be Bluetooth. And need no hard connection to the device

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1st May 2014, 10:52 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bones420la

Why not a case with a built in desire z style keyboard? Hell it could be Bluetooth. And need no hard connection to the device

Sent from my LG-D800 using Tapatalk


Bluetooth keyboards completely suck.
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2nd May 2014, 08:44 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riahc3

The only possible way Ara is going to allow this is your standard "BlackBerry" type of keyboard. No Desire Z. No G1.

Personally I don't mind or care. As long as I get a keyboard on my Android, Im happy.

Why wouldn't a slider module be allowed? I mean, I understand that that may be the case, but I wouldn't say it is certain yet.

Looking at the MDK v0.10 specification PDF:
  • 3.1.4 - Envelope Violation Limitations - A slider in the front module could be interpreted as violating the envelope as the display will fall partially outside of the standard envelope in X direction (which is a violation as per Table 3.10) when extended. However, I'm not convinced this is intended to prevent modules that still fall within the valid dimensions in resting position (sure, it might be, but it is not 100% clear to me). Note that the maximum length in Z direction is 2.5 cm, so one should be able to fit a keyboard+slider+screen in this space.
  • 3.1.2 - Front Module Sub-assemblies - Rear modules are limited to having a Base, PCB, Safety Shield, and a Shell (3.1.1.1). However, front modules only require a Base and a PCB, and other sub-assemblies are module-specific, so this would not affect a keyboard+slider+screen module AFAICS.

Am I missing something else? (I admit I haven't read the MDK document cover-to-cover)
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