A recently uncovered patent reveals that Microsoft is working on yet another foldable smartphone. In this particular case, the patent is described as being related to a “portable device with adjustable optical arrangement,” though its unclear what that means exactly.
Apparently the handset features unique functionality that allows it to switch from a standard to a wide-angle lens.
When opened wide, the device features one wide-angle rear-facing camera. When closed, that handset’s camera conforms to a narrower field-of-view.
According to the patent, the smartphone serves as a front-facing and rear-facing camera with multiple field-of-views. It would also allow the device to be thinner, avoiding the issue of a foldable handset not being thick enough to feature a multi-purposed camera.
The camera may also be arranged side-ways, utilizing a mirror that pulls in more light from the outside, similar to periscope, says the patent.
The specifically reads as follows:
The complexity and adjustability of the optical arrangement may be limited by the space available in the device. In particular, the thickness of the device is often limited, allowing a strictly limited thickness or length of the optical arrangement only. This may be the case, for example, in foldable devices where the maximum thickness of each portion of the device is restricted by the maximum allowable overall thickness of the device in its folded position.
The rumoured device is referred to internally at Microsoft as Andromeda, according to reports, and features a design that reminiscent of the unreleased Microsoft Courier.
As always it’s important to point out that a patent filing doesn’t necessarily mean a product is going to ever exist.
The full patent is available here.