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Microsoft patent reveals a 2-in-1 smartphone

Microsoft patent foldable phone
Windows Phone Area

Microsoft patents a mobile device with foldable screen

Since we already have a tablet (Surface) that transforms into a laptop, how about a phone that becomes a tablet? A newly-found patent hints that Microsoft may be trying to create a new category of small devices with foldable screens.

The picture you see below represents an idea that eventually may, or may not become a final shipping product. However, it’s interesting to learn that Microsoft is exploring different ideas for devices with foldable screens. As you probably know, Samsung and LG are both rumored to be launching devices with foldabe screens by the end of 2017.

hidge foldable phone

This patent owned by Microsoft describes a computing device with a flexible hinge, allowing the user to transform the device into a tablet.

Techniques involving a mobile computing device having a flexible hinge structure are described. In one or more implementations, a mobile computing device includes a plurality of housings, a display device that is flexible, and a flexible hinge structure. The flexible hinge structure secures the plurality of housings to each other, permits the plurality of housings to rotate about an axis in relation to each other, and supports a continuous viewing area of the display device that extends across the plurality of housings and the flexible hinge structure. Source

We assume that when in a closed configuration, the device may act as a typical Windows 10 Phone, while in a ‘tablet’ mode the user may experience some improved Continuum feature with access to Win32 apps and Desktop-like environment. Furthermore, such a device could also be connected to a large monitor, just like the Continuum-capable Lumia 950 line.

Microsoft has received the patent in October 2016, so if the software giant is planning to materialize it, a shipping product will not be unveiled before Q3 2017.

What do you think about a Surface device with a foldable screen?