In recent weeks, we've seen a number of Microsoft patent filings for a folding tablet-style device pop up, potentially giving us an early look at Microsoft's rumored Andromeda device. Showing no signs of slowing down, another patent filing recently surfaced (via Windows Latest), documenting a hinge mechanism for a dual-display device.
Titled "hinge with free-stop function," the patent shows how a folding device could rotate 360 degrees with the ability to stop at any point in the rotation. Parhaps more interestingly, however, the patent filing describes Microsoft's rationale for pursuing dual-display devices going forward. According to the filing, dual-display devices are meant to address the demand for larger screen sizes as modern phones continue to expand their features. From Microsoft:
According to the filing, hinges for such a device present a problem, particularly for thin devices. Microsoft attempts to address potential roadblocks, like protrusions and flimsy connections, with a selection of hinge concepts included in the filing.
It's worth keeping in mind that this, and other recent patents, represent filings for things that we may ultimately never see in a finished product on store shelves. However, as speculation heats up on a potential folding Surface device that could be a revival of sorts of Microsoft's canceled Courier tablet, each patent is an interesting look at what could be coming down the pike.
If you're more interested in seeing what a finished product might resemble, a designer recently showed off a sleek 3D concept of a device based off of the recent patent filings.
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