It’s fun looking at BlackBerry patents because even though they may never come to fruition, you can always speculate on the pros and cons of actually implementing said patent. In a patent that was filed on February 26,2009 and updated on January 12th 2010, RIM demonstrate how biometric finger scanning could be implemented on a BlackBerry.
According to the description, the patent involves:
“An apparatus for input and fingerprint recognition comprises a touch surface, and a data processor coupled to the touch surface. The touch surface comprises a first region and a second region. The second region is distinct from and coplanar with the first region and occupies a minor portion of a total surface area of the touch surface. The data processor is configured to selectively operate the touch surface in a touch input mode or a fingerprint detection mode. In the touch input mode, the data processor is configured to operate the second region at a first resolution comparable to that of the first region to detect a touch input anywhere on the touch surface. In the fingerprint detection mode, the data processor is configured to operate the second region at a higher resolution than the first resolution to detect a fingerprint on the second region.
While fingerprint scanning would add another layer of security and could be very beneficial for large corporations and government, the average BlackBerry user does not fit into this category. The new BlackBerry user cares more about syncing their music OTA and downloading apps than protecting their content. So while this wouldn’t apply to mass market, you could probably sell a million of these to high security clients around the world.