By Evan Blass | September 29, 2010 8:36 AM
Microsoft has been granted a patent that could lead to folding, dual-screen smartphones whose displays can separate and operate independently, yet still maintain positional-awareness of one another. Redmond originally applied for the patent in early 2009, around the same time that it released a concept video showing the same type of device being used by a traveler in an airport.
In the video, part of a futuristic montage of envisioned technologies for 2019 — and re-posted below — the gentleman slides apart a seemingly one-piece device to reveal two separate displays: one he holds up to his face like a handset, while the other is used for videoconferencing with the other caller. Now it seems as if the same functionality could be achieved with a regular phone paired to a Bluetooth headset, but the concept itself is sound enough.
Obviously Microsoft’s two-screened Courier project engendered a lot of interest before it was reportedly axed, so it seems that there may indeed be a market for foldable — and perhaps detachable — displays. If you’ll recall our indefensible argument about smartphones having nearly reached their pinnacle, you may remember that we also predicted that folding or rollable screens would play a large role in device innovation over the next few years.
What do you think of this concept? Useful symbiosis of technologies or simply a solution without a problem?