Microsoft patent points to a flexible, single-screen folding Surface device

Previous patents relating to Andromeda seem to point to the idea of a dual-panel display that can be folded with a central hinge. However, this new patent has something truly sci-fi futuristic, while offering an incredibly intimate look at the inner workings of the device.

While this doesn't appear to resemble the mythical Surface 'Andromeda' device, it does show that the company is exploring various new form factors relating to folding. The inclusion of a possible USB type C port indicates that this is larger than what rumors tip Andromeda to be, and could represent a new product line entirely for the Surface family.

The heavily detailed patent goes to lengths to explain how the "deformable" fold in this tablet works, which would allow it to be opened or closed, but not reversed, as was expected with Andromeda.

Microsoft describes methods the company is using to prevent "crimping" damage to the folding display, reducing stress as its folded and unfolded from repeated use. Without the assembly at the fold, Microsoft notes that the middle portion of the device might feel, and I quote, "mushy," while elaborating on how they intend to solve these hurdles.

While this patent is quite a departure from some of the other Andromeda schematics we've seen recently, it does resemble some of the earlier designs Microsoft was exploring for foldable devices.

As usual, patents don't necessarily translate into products on store shelves, so taper expectations, but it's interesting how far along Microsoft seems to be with some of the intricacies of folding displays. Perhaps the Surface Go 2 will differentiate itself further from its bigger brothers by becoming foldable in the future.

Related: Everything we know about Surface "Andromeda"

Thanks for the tip, Steven!

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!