This past year, Microsoft has filed several patents that evolve around foldable devices, and today, yet another patent has appeared online giving us possibly our best look yet at what a potential foldable handset from Microsoft could look like.
The patent is for a "Portable device with adjustable optical arrangement" and looks to be a way to solve having two optical arrangements on a single device that can then line up when closed, possibly acting as a way to compensate for thin displays resulting in small cameras. By stacking the two displays back to back the optical arrangement can in effect double in size.
The complexity and adjustability of the optical arrangement may be limited by the space available in the device. In particular, the thickness of the device is often limited, allowing a strictly limited thickness or length of the optical arrangement only. This may be the case, for example, in foldable devices where the maximum thickness of each portion of the device is restricted by the maximum allowable overall thickness of the device in its folded position.
We already know that Microsoft is internally prototyping a foldable device with a focus on pen and digital inking. It is widely believed that this device is codenamed Andromeda, and will be similar to that of the Microsoft Courier but in a smaller, pocket-able form factor.
Sources suggest this device will be the first to ship with a version of Windows 10 that features CShell and built with Windows Core OS, and may utilize a dual-screen system. The patent revealed today appears to show a dual-screen device that folds into a smartphone-like form factor.
Of course, patents aren't always representative of what the final shipping product may look like, and Microsoft may decide to cancel its plans to release a foldable device at any time. If such device doesn't get canceled however, we hear it may make an appearance as soon as next year.
You can see the full patent here (warning: PDF).
What are your thoughts on Microsoft's foldable device plans? Let us know in the comments!
Need a new laptop to run VR? Here are the best devices out there now.
Using a laptop to power your VR system makes it easy to take it with you wherever you go. Not just any laptop is going to work for VR, though, so we rounded up your best options right here.
Join us LIVE for the Windows Central Video Podcast today at 2:30PM ET
We're LIVE with the Windows Central Video Podcast today at 2:30pm ET, make sure you're there!
The Black Friday keyboard deals you need to know about
Getting your hands on a new keyboard is exciting for PC users, and thanks to Black Friday, it's more affordable than ever before. Here's a look at the best Black Friday keyboard deals available now.
These are the best PC sticks for when you're on the move
Instant computer, just add a screen! That’s the general idea of the ultra-portable PC Compute Sticks, but it can be hard to know which one you want. Relax, we’ve got you covered.