Microsoft has filed a patent application that describes a promising handheld foldable device. The device sketched in the patent filing includes a single folding panel that can travel from zero to 360 degrees, rather than the rotating two-screen form of the Surface Duo and its sequel.
It essentially transforms from a seamless tablet to a one-handed smartphone mode in this way. The concept is novel and has yet to be implemented by a smartphone manufacturer. The fact that the foldable screen bends both inwards and outwards is impressive. A bi-directionally folding screen not only eliminates the need for a secondary display for one-handed use, but it also decreases the battery’s load by powering a cover display.
The inward folding form with a secondary cover display on top has been adopted by Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Oppo Find N, while Huawei has experimented with the outward folding design on phones like the Mate Xs. However, the foldable panel in each design only allows for 180 degrees of movement in one direction.
Although Microsoft’s Surface Duo supported full 360-degree rotation, it used a two-screen architecture with a hinge. Despite its flexibility, the gap was unsightly and didn’t provide the same level of seamlessness as a single foldable panel. However, it appears that the business intends to combine the 360-degree folding DNA with a foldable screen. In the fictional world of patents, at least. Read more; OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite Officially Launched with Nord Buds
There’s some hope for this one
However, there is a ray of hope here. The technology is already available, despite the fact that it is still a patent. LG has unveiled a 360-degree Folding OLED, which can fold inwards and outwards and appears to be designed specifically for the next generation of foldable phones. Samsung’s display division also has a Flex S that can fold inwards and outwards along one crease and inwards and outwardly along the other.
Microsoft’s patent filing not only envisions a more adaptable foldable phone, but it also appears to address one of the category’s main problems: the annoying seam. Instead than folding flat like a piece of paper and forming a crease, one of the patent design implementations depicts the screen folding to create a teardrop-shaped outline beside the centre.
Motorola accomplished something similar with the Razr, which included a hinge with moveable metal plates. The gap between the plates grew as the phone was folded shut, allowing the screen to assume a waterdrop shape and avoid a crease. Microsoft’s patent application appears to be pursuing a similar idea, with the patent language explicitly mentioning a backplate mechanism that slides to make room for the screen movement.
But now comes the depressing part. Despite the enormous potential for creating a really adaptable foldable phone that combines one-of-a-kind technology with Microsoft’s expertise in modifying Android for a superb tablet experience, this is still a patent fantasy. If it fails to fit the company’s standards, it may be scrapped, as is the case with the vast majority of patents. Read also; Samsung Galaxy A53 5G vs. Apple iPhone SE 3