Microsoft patents folding phone dock — that’s a folding dock for phones
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has passed along a design patent for “a peripheral device for use with a user terminal.” The device looks a lot like an Amazon Echo Dot — the cylindrical pad would have no touch screen, but would have a few context keys. The main intent for the connection is to allow the phone to become a conduit for a VoIP call based from the terminal.
Artwork of the product itself looks to be desaturated photographs of real hardware — an iPhone is prominently featured along with a Lightning connector on top of the base station. A “cap” that hinges on the back of the station can fold down to cover the top. The connector could spring above the speaker cap to allow it to be connected while not connected to a VoIP call. The device contains a speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the laptop — it appears to be a Surface Book — Skype for Business is activated.
MSPoweruser notes that the product could allow Microsoft to join in as a Made for iPhone accessory maker.