Just a few months ago, the smartphone community was stunned when Microsoft’s patents outlining a foldable mobile device emerged. The patents suggested that while Microsoft has been out of the smartphone game for a long time, the Redmond-based tech giant is preparing something special for the device it will utilize to re-enter the smartphone market. This time, a new patent has emerged adding something extra to the handset, in the form of a third display located in the most unlikely place the market has seen so far.
As could be seen in the new patent, Microsoft is exploring the possibility of adding another display to the Surface Phone. Instead of putting the screen on the other side of the device, such as Samsung’s recent Galaxy X patents, Microsoft is looking into adding a third display mounted on the smartphone’s hinge itself. As could be seen in the patent, which can be viewed here, the hinge of the Surface Phone would display relevant information based on how the device is being used. Thus, if the device is folded out, folded in, or open at an angle, the third display would display different types of information.
The use of a third display is something that essentially has not been done in the past. If Microsoft does indeed push through with the concept, its hinge-mounted screen would truly make the Surface Phone stand out from the competition. Much of the Surface line’s pedigree, after all, lies in the way the devices integrate features like hinges into their overall design. The Surface Pro and the Surface Studio are great examples of this. Microsoft is looking into various ways how the hinge-mounted display would be mounted, as noted in a Neowin report.
Patents are not a surefire way to determine if a company will debut a specific feature or design, but they do provide a glimpse of the options a device-maker is looking into in terms of the development of an upcoming product. In this sense, the patents that are emerging about the Surface Phone, from its foldable Courier-like concept before to its hinge-mounted third display today, are encouraging. If any, they suggest that Microsoft is dead serious when it declared that when it does re-enter the smartphone market, it will do so in a commanding manner.