In October 2019, Microsoft announced two new gadgets, the Surface Neo and the Surface Duo. Both these devices were Microsoft’s attempt at manufacturing foldable devices for the market. Whereas those devices were scheduled to release in 2020, recently, a patent shows that Microsoft is planning on making more concept foldable phones this year.
Microsoft filed a patent for a foldable phone, and its design resembles the Samsung Galaxy Fold style folding phone. The patent was titled, “FOLDABLE DISPLAY DEVICE WITH INTERACTABLE USER INTERFACE SURFACE ON THE EXTERNAL SHELL”. The patent was filed with the European Patent Office in 2018 and published in December 2019.
According to the patent design, Microsoft was thinking along the line of adding a third screen on the back of the foldable smartphone which could be used as a small smartphone, and which the users could use for doing different things without having to open the folded device all the way.
Aspects of the present disclosure provide a foldable display device that includes a user interface surface located on an exterior cover section of the foldable display device that allows a user to interact with the user interface surface while the foldable display device is in a closed state.
The secondary screen may allow the user to select the content that they would like to see on the secondary screen while the phone is folded. Moreover, the user interface surface may be configured to allow an object produce on the user interface surface to be used as the display photo, on either the primary screen or on the secondary display screen.
Microsoft is also planning on incorporating the ability into the device which would help the user transfer content to the bigger screen when unfolding the display.
This upcoming folding phone from Microsoft sounds interesting, but we must keep in mind that not all proposed patents actually make it into production.