RIM 950 BlackBerry® Pager
This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.
Thumb Typing Makes its Debut
The RIM 950 BlackBerry® pager accelerated Internet communications when it was introduced in 1999. Featuring a unique keyboard layout, the handheld device functioned as a pager, email device, and personal organizer. Suddenly, people were furiously thumb-typing on their devices, which made a distinctive click-clack sound.
Incorporating a wireless modem, the BlackBerry® pager was always “on,” which allowed users to receive messages on the go without having to dial into a server. The device soon became identified with a class of mobile executives and decision-makers dependent on rapid exchanges of email and text messages. The BlackBerry® pager, which later incorporated a phone and web browser, established Research In Motion Ltd (now known as BlackBerry®) as a global leader in mobile communications; back in Ontario, it also consolidated Waterloo’s position as a hub for Canadian high-tech research and development.