Surface Phone, is that you? Another foldable mobile device patent emerges from Microsoft
Another folding phone patent has appeared, complimenting earlier designs published by Microsoft earlier in the year.
Microsoft watcher h0x0d unearthed the patent this morning, which shows a center-folding configuration, not unlike the ill-fated Microsoft Courier device of yesteryear.
As usual, be aware that patents don't always equal products. Companies frequently file prototypes and even ideas that will never emerge from the drafting table as a protectionary measure. However, given the raft of previous patents Microsoft has filed on this particular configuration, I'd say it's safe to say that the company is at least exploring a foldable cellular PC design for an upcoming handset or tablet.
The patent was originally filed in 2015 and was made public just yesterday. Unlike the previous folding phone patents which largely focus on hinges, this one provides a solution for reducing the visual impact from a screen that is comprised of several separate displays.
The patent discusses not just folding mobile devices, but also larger, tiled displays, made up of multiple screens.
Essentially, Microsoft is proposing a multi-layered screen where the segmented panels feature a curvature towards the edges, beneath a single upper layer. The lower curve is designed to create an optical trick that will draw light away from the gaps between the tiled display, making the screen appear as a continuous image on the outer display.
This methodology, presumably, would create folding phone displays that feature multiple active screens, but appear as a single, continuous image. The concept harkens back to various bendy devices seen in Microsoft's future visions video.
If Microsoft can pull this off, it would give any future mobile PC a truly unique, almost sci-fi form factor a device like the Surface Phone would need to shrug off comparisons to the iPhones and Samsung Galaxies out there.
Whether this patent idea leads to a physical, real-world product or not remains unknown, but it offers a tantalizing glimpse at the futuristic things Microsoft's innovative hardware design labs are doing behind the scenes. Hopefully, we won't have to wait long to find out if this is a real thing.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Jez Corden 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 caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
(I will buy it)
This new Surface (or Surface Phone/Mobile/Go/Mate, or whatever you want to call it) will replace it. If this new Surface would be able to replace (in CPU/GPU power) the Surface Pro then it would cannibalize the otherwise profitable Surface Pro line. And of course, MS does not want that to happen. Who would want to hurt their own sales and profits? Therefore, MS keeps the self-created categories distinctively separate from one another (since the device-per-usecase strategy is owned by Apple and is successful - so far): phone+mini tablet (Surface Mobile); tablet+laptop (Surface Pro); wacom+desktop (Surface Studio) The pattern is clear: mold 2 device types/categories into 1 device/category. If MS brings out such a device and it is a fast, reliable and reasonably priced device, then I would trade my iPhone 7 Plus for that device in a heartbeat. The HP Elite x3 comes close, but not close enough (5.5" vs. 5.96" are not that big of a difference) and the HP Workspace is out-of-reach for me (since I am a consumer). Every time I use my Windows 10 laptop, I wish I could use a Windows 10 based phone/tablet (again)... (FYI: My Lumia 950XL died due to a severe drop just a couple of months after purchase and 1 day before the Anniversary Update was released. And it had a terrible battery life and unfortunately was very unreliable for my liking.)
They are coming back in the sense they will do new devices running w10 mobile, they will outsell ios and android? of course not. Infact they shifted mobile stuff to RS3 for prioritize MR, they know it.
It wasn't enough and won't be enough.
1. Windows 10
laptop, 2 in 1 ,power PC
And your comment isnt entirely true. Surface 3 was not designed to be a premium product.
Please stop copying and pasting this
2. The video succeeds in showing the ease of retrieving and editing results, but does not clearly show the ease of collecting data (perhaps the exception of throwing a basket of rovs)
3. Are we going to polute ours oceans with even more trash, adding baskets of drones to the list?
Even going into the corners could be a problem but I like to imagine not having the sides for sorround work :°
All good but we also need MOBILE devices - small smartphones not only bulky 5-6 inch devices :/
The only thing I am concerned about is the implementation; microsoft needs to get it together for the user interface on tablet mode for future devices. Also they need to get it right in the first try, as they wont get a second chance with android and ios on its tail.
Another thing is app situation, microsoft has to push really hard to get as many developers as possible by giving them greater benefits or something of that sort to attract them.
I am pretty sure they already have a plan, I just hope it works. Dont want to see them struggle any more
also I dont know any of your previous experiences.
It's something that Mr.Mobile ( Michael fisher) mentioned once that the main problem with windows mobile is its fans, some of us are agressive to defend the shortcomings and I agree on that. Peace