New Microsoft patent shows dual-display device that can determine a user's focus

What you need to know

  • A new Microsoft patent shows a device that can detect which display a user is focusing on.
  • The dual-screened device in the patent has a hinge.
  • The patent may not indicate a future device.

A new patent from Microsoft was published today. The patent shows off a multi-screen device that can tell which of the device's multiple screens a user is focusing on. There's a chance that this could be part of an upcoming foldable device from Microsoft, but as with all patents, it might never be implemented into a device or see the light of day.

The patent's abstract states that the device would "detect a signature gesture input based on accelerometer data." The device would be able to tell which screen a user is focused on. The patent states that part of this feature is "reducing a power usage of a display device that does not have the current user focus." It could also switch which display shows content based on where the user is looking and suppress touch input on the display that's not in focus.

Foldable devices can struggle with screen orientation, so having a device that could orient itself well would be useful. Furthermore, reducing power usage would be an expected feature for many users who wouldn't want a device to burn battery to power a screen that no one is looking at.

Several other patents have emerged that could be part of a foldable device from Microsoft, including a design that ditches physical volume buttons. As with all patents, any designs included might not be used in a future device. They often show concepts that companies are interested in, but only some patents lead to devices that are sold to consumers.

Thanks to Steven for the tip.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

2 Comments
  • This would be nifty in a handled windows based device.
  • I only want this tech to automatically pause movies if I walk away from my screen, that's my only use case, but by golly would I use it a lot, especially if I could have this on my TV/game console.