Andromeda's existence is all but confirmed, owing to reams of patents and rumors, but whether or not the device will ever see the light of day remains to be seen. What will be seen, however, are all the juicy patents relating to its potential capabilities.

This latest patent (thanks, Steven) seems to point to the idea of inking on the external shell of Andromeda, in order to send notes or sketches digitally to your device. We've heard previous rumors about Andromeda having some form of external sensitivity for things like button presses, but this is the first time we've been given the idea that it could be sensitive enough to transcribe notes and doodles.

The patent specifically describes a "cover" that has some form of user interface designed to receive inputs from a stylus, in order to translate them digitally to the device's main displays. The patent notes how that how, even in a closed state, users will be able to interact with the "foldable display device" using this method.

This past week, Microsoft announced a slate of new Surface devices, but as we expected, no Andromeda. The more patents that emerge related to Microsoft's mysterious pet project, the cooler it seems like it could be. As usual, patents don't necessarily mean the features would make it into a live product, if the live product ever makes it out of Microsoft's labs at all, that is, but it shows that the Surface team are at least exploring unique input methods for its grand pocketable PC experiment. It would be quite handy for taking quick notes without fully engaging the device's displays, nontheless.

What do you make of this patent? Will Andromeda ever see the light of day? Hit the comments.

Everything we know about 'Surface Andromeda'