updated 03:40 pm EST, Mon December 17, 2007
Nokia triple-slider patent
Nokia has laid claim to to an unusual new cellphone design, a patent application reveals. Most sliding smartphones can currently shift only in a single direction, while a select few -- such as Samsung's F520 -- shift in two, allowing access to either a numberpad or a QWERTY keyboard. Under Nokia's new concept however, a phone would add a third direction, exposing music and/or game controls. This would be an extension of the numberpad layer, much as on the company's dual-sliding N95.
In theory, the triple-layer "pancake" design of the proposed phone could allow users to bring out two different sets of controls at the same time, making for easier multitasking. A rumored candidate for a real-world product is the N99/N900; the device has long been in development though, with few details to judge by. [via Unwired View]