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Microsoft’s Surface brand patents foldable, hinged device

Microsoft has been experimenting with foldable phones and tablets for quite some time now, with its last patent being filed in January. It seems that the company hasn’t given up on the idea, as a new patent has emerged from Microsoft Surface, indicating the possibility of a hinged device making its way to the Surface line-up.

This new concept details two separate screens, one of which is enclosed on the inside opposite a virtual keyboard and trackpad, and the other is seemingly on the outside shell. The hinges are placed either side of the device, enabling it to fold and close like a book or be propped up in a tent-like position.

The device is quite similar to Microsoft’s unreleased Courier device, which also closed like a book. This was reportedly the company’s attempt at emulating a traditional notepad in digital format, giving the authentic feel of writing on paper with the included stylus. It seems that this new design lacks a stylus entirely.

It’s uncertain as to whether this product will ever make it to market, but Microsoft isn’t the only company currently experimenting with hinged and bendable technology. Samsung’s patent for a wraparound display concept was approved just this week and hints that Apple might be joining the display foray have been inbound the past two weeks too. Pair this with Lenovo, LG, Samsung’s other proposed devices and a bunch of other companies and there’s a potential competitive market on its way.

KitGuru Says: This seems like it might be useful in the same way that lightweight, smaller laptops are convenient for general users at the expense of better hardware. The Surface line, however, is known for trying to tap into the professional side of the industry, with prices to reflect it. Perhaps this is Microsoft’s way of expanding that line into a more mainstream consumer market.

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