New patent shows how the Surface Duo camera could work

Surface Duo
Surface Duo (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • A new patent shares details on how the camera might work on the Surface Duo.
  • The patent implies that an upcoming dual-screen device could have a single camera.
  • According to the patent, the device could show what the camera was capturing on one or both displays.

A new patent shows how the camera could work on the Surface Duo (via WindowsUnited). US Patent No: US 10,440,632 B2 includes several details about how a dual-screen device from Microsoft could work. If certain aspects of the patent were used on the Surface Duo, the device might have a single camera that can be used for either selfies or rear-facing photos.

The patent was applied for by Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC. It was originally filed on June 19, 2017. It shows off several ways that a folding device with multiple displays could work. Many of which seem similar to what we saw in the Surface Duo at the recent October Surface Event.

Sheets 3-12 of the patent have images or text describing a camera system for a dual-screen device. At one point, the patent reads,

The mobile computing device may further include a camera mounted in the first part of the housing and configured to capture image data, the camera and the first display both facing a first direction, and a processor mounted in the housing. In the back-to-back angular orientation, the processor may be configured to cause the second display to display the image data while simultaneously causing the first display to display the image data and secondary content.

According to this text, the Surface Duo could have a single camera unit that can be used for front or rear-facing images. The device could show what is being captured on one or both displays depending on the orientation of the device.


Surface Duo (Image credit: Marques Brownlee)

As with all patents, these technologies could be used on an upcoming device on the Surface Duo, or they may never see the light of day. In our analysis of if the Surface Duo will have a rear-facing camera, we pointed out what appears to be a spot for a camera on the back of the device. That would be different than what this new patent covers.

The Surface Duo will likely have some sort of camera setup, but until Microsoft unveils more details, we can't confirm how that setup would look or work.

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