A new patent filing published has Microsoft fans excited once again about the prospect of a Surface Phone.
The patent shows a new foldable display hinge mechanism that could make its way into the company’s long-rumoured Surface smartphone or another future Surface device.
The patent filing describes what Microsoft calls a “live hinge” (the dark grey mechanism pictured in the diagram below) that allows a device with two displays to both fold up like a book or with each display back-to-back with one another. Essentially, if Microsoft were ever to make the live hinge into reality, it could start manufacturing a multi-purpose tablet and dual-screen smartphone device.
Within the patent filing itself, Microsoft describes how phone displays can only get so big, and if they were to get any bigger, devices would no longer be able to fit in users’ pockets. The solution for this problem, the company says, is a foldable device.
The company also describes how certain foldable phones do not open and close smoothly due to the design of their hinges. Microsoft claims it has solved this problem with the live hinge.
Rumours about the ‘Surface Phone‘ have appeared online many times over the past couple of years. And while it’s easy to see this patent and get excited about the Surface Phone again, it should be noted that Microsoft filed the patent on July 28th, 2016. Moreover, as with all patents, the new mechanism detailed here may never make its way into a production device.