Details emerging about the Microsoft Surface Phone might be few and far in between, but the information teased about the device is undoubtedly compelling. Just recently, patents emerged showing what could very well be the device’s killer feature. If done right, the Surface Phone might ultimately herald what could very well be a new era for Microsoft in the world of mobile computing.
The Surface Phone has been in the rumor mill for a very long time, with initial speculations about the handset emerging years ago. Despite a slew of rumors, however, Microsoft has been notoriously tight-lipped about the Surface Phone, even refusing to confirm the device’s existence.
Microsoft’s patents, however, seem to tell a different story.
Just recently, patents depicting a futuristic hybrid concept for a mobile device emerged, seemingly proving that Microsoft is indeed thinking out of the box with regards to the Surface Phone. Needless to say, the patents practically set the smartphone community on fire.
Even more recently, however, another patent was found seemingly showcasing an important feature of the Surface Phone. As noted in a Digital Trends report, a patent application referring to a “Live Hinge” was recently revealed. Interestingly, Microsoft has a particular affinity and a definite mastery with hinges, as proven by devices such as the Surface Book, Surface Pro series, and the Surface Studio — stunning machines that all utilize a special hinge.
According to the patent filing itself, Microsoft believes that the design would ultimately make an otherwise powerful device fit into a compact, easy-to-use form factor.
“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-sized form factor.”
— David Breyer (@D_Breyer) December 18, 2017
With this in mind, a special hinge for the Surface Phone makes perfect sense, considering that the patent suggests that the Live Hinge would allow the foldable device to be seamlessly folded in and out. If any, the feature referred to in the patent would allow a full 360-degree rotation, until both screens of the device are flat on each other’s back.
Based on the recent patent, the Surface Phone might ultimately have three modes — closed with no screens exposed, an open tablet-like configuration with both displays folded out, and a full 360-degree mode that features active screens on both sides of the device.
A release date for the Surface Phone has not been teased by Microsoft, though rumors are high that a prototype of the device might be unveiled sometime later this year.