In a recently revealed Microsoft patent application, a new smartphone design has been revealed that could potentially be that of the much-rumored Surface Phone. Also Read - Windows 11 out now in “reliable” beta version, allows Dev Channel users to switch
The patent application details a “live hinge”, which will allow the device with two screens to be seamlessly opened flat into a tablet mode, or have one screen folded all the way around back. Can you hear Microsoft competing the Samsung Galaxy X? Also Read - Xbox Series X restock in India possible by early August, no news on Series S
Like you can see in the image above, the grey highlighted area is what they are calling the live hinge. It connects both screens and allows the phone to have an unprecedented degree of adjustability. And when both screen are opened to form one big one, the live hinge ensures that both screens connect to each other leaving no crease in between.
The patent claims that in certain configuration, this hinge could also allow a full 360 degrees of rotation. That means the screens could folde further until the screens are “back-to-back,” exposing the touch surfaces on both sides of the device. Such a device would have three modes; closed with no screens exposed, 180 degrees open with both screens conjoined into one larger display, or 360 degrees open with one screen on each side of the device.
“Mobile phone displays have increased in size to the point where they can now consume almost an entire front surface of a phone. In some cases, further increases in display size would detract from other capabilities of the devices, such as its pocket-size form factor,” Microsoft writes in the patent describing a specific reference to the size limitations of current single-screen mobile phones.
Interestingly, this is not the first time Microsoft has been found working on these “live hinges”. As The Verge reported in December 2017, Microsoft has been toying with these kinds of live hinges for a while now. The example in the earlier patent suggests more of a tablet-form-factor device.