I have written this post on 8th July 2012, but as on the terms in Invent with Nokia of 4 months period before sharing the idea, I scheduled this post to be published on 16th September (I submitted my idea on 16th May).
I had an idea about smartphone for gaming. What smartphones lacked are (or were, whichever more valid at the time of reading) trigger buttons. You can have many buttons on the screen or the device, like Xperia Play, but you need to have the trigger button as well (in Xperia Play as well). My idea was not accepted by Nokia but I will share it anyway.
My idea was to make a phone which side buttons are made of capacitive panel, as the likes of windows button in most Windows Phone 7.5. The volume buttons, the camera shutter button, and an extra convenience button if you like. The power button would still be hardware button because if the phone freeze and unibody design or whatever design disables taking out battery, you could still try the power button.
Unlocking could be done in N9 way, double tapping the screen. Of course, if you want extra security, a single tap followed with a pattern would be good, such as with letters. If the device fails to read, then a lock password would be asked as an added security measure or if you have problems unlocking with gesture at times.
Focusing camera is done with holding the shutter panel. When you want to shoot, press the screen. So, the position of your right hand fingers would be index on shutter panel and thumb on screen.
Volume could be adjusted with pressing the panels or possibly by swiping the panel up or down.
For gaming, the shutter panel and the volume panel can be switched into L and R button. Of course, if the device side is completely made of capacitive panel, you could just divide the panel into two so pressing it could be near the edge for convenience sake. Even better, the volume panel and shutter panel positions are made adjustable with such full capacitive side.
Why did I share it with Nokia?
Firstly enough, I am (or was, if I decide to change side) a fan of Windows Phone OS. With Nokia having most handsets of WP around me, I picked it up. Also, knowing Nokia had an agreement with Microsoft, the idea could be implemented easily. This would garner gamers to WP and Nokia could earn more money (not sure if it can save itself) if it owns the patent and Microsoft decides to put it into all WP devices (thus, HTC, Samsung and so on need to pay Nokia).
Secondly, I was formerly a Nokia fan when Symbian was dominating the world and Explode Arena being the popular game among my friend.
Anyway, that is my idea. I know the implementation would not be easy since adding capacitive panels on the side could add a bulk into the device. If you have bendable touchscreen (which was being tried by many OEMs), you could have a phone with its screen going to the side, bent, becoming the capacitive panel as well. I am not sure if it is a possibility but it is another crazy idea.