Microsoft building a foldable device isn’t really a new thing, as the famous Andromeda model was supposed to be based on this approach.
But despite the project reportedly being pushed back to the drawing board, patents that make the rounds occasionally indicate that Microsoft has several ideas in mind when planning to launch such a device.
Most recently, a patent for what Microsoft describes as a “hinged device” made the rounds, revealing that the software giant is exploring more than just one concept for a possible mass-produced model.
The patent describes a foldable device that comes with a locking system which can be easily controlled with just one hand, so it would technically be able to unlock the phone and wake up the display on the inside without using both hands.
“The device can automatically open the first and second portions and a few degrees without further user effort. In this case, the hinge assemblies provide a force that biases the first and second portions apart from the closed orientation unless the user-controllable lock maintains the closed orientation. This bias can be viewed as a “pop-up” feature. Further, once the device is popped-up, the device can maintain the orientation without user intervention (e.g. the user doesn’t have to fold the device open),” the patent reads.
Additionally, the patent reveals that the device would be easy to carry in your pocket given its dimensions, so it would be more or less the size of a phone.
While this could make many believe this is the Surface Phone that so many Windows Phone fans have been dreaming about, it’s worth noting it’s just a patent for now and there’s no indication phone capabilities would be offered.
As with everything patent, the current stage does not guarantee a device would enter mass production.