Patent suggests Microsoft may have its own range of foldable smartphones in the pipeline
Is Microsoft done with mobile phones, both smart and dumb, for good? Should we still hold out hope for a businessy, professional and productive Surface Phone after so many years of unsubstantiated gossip and fruitless behind-the-scenes work?
Unfortunately, a patent application or ratification can rarely answer such substantial questions, instead focusing on experimental technologies and major innovations that may or may not take shape in the near or distant future.
Case in point, the latest USPTO reveal, of a “mobile computing device having a flexible hinge structure” dating all the way back to October 2014. Microsoft was probably inspired by Samsung and LG to start envisioning various foldable gadget designs, none of which however we know for sure to be in pre-release testing.
Many of the drawings accompanying this patent approval are outright mind-bending, including two and even three screens that could be linked using hinges and other neat mechanisms, then folded in and out of place, stacked on top of one another, and used solo or together, as phones, tablets or “mini-tablets.”
A “variety of different usage scenarios” will thus be supported if any of the concepts materializes commercially, as Microsoft aims to make a buying decision easy for consumers seeking both a small and large display, with both portability and increased viewability. Bottom line, versatile 2 or even 3-in-1 multipurpose products are the future in the eyes of Samsung, LG and Microsoft.