We heard it from none other than the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella himself that Microsoft is looking beyond ordinary smartphones available today and that a new Mobile form-factor is under testing. A new patent may give a clue to what Microsoft may be planning to pursue as a new mobile form-factor.
The patent in question features a hinged device that can be folded in a hand-held smartphone-like form and can be expanded to reveal the second display making it look like a Tablet. This happens across a hinge that holds two displays/surfaces. Check the images below.
The present concepts relate to devices, such as computing devices, employing flexible hinges that rotationally secure device portions. The flexible hinges can be biased to affect a length of the flexible hinge that is interposed between the device portions at various angular orientations.
One can notice that one of the images even features a camera too. In description and claims of the patent, we can read how Microsoft mentions smartphones as one of the potential use cases of the design.
The present hinge assembly concepts can be utilized with any type of device, such as, but not limited to, notebook computers, smart phones, wearable smart devices, tablets, and/or other types of existing, developing, and/or yet to be developed devices.
What is more interesting and still quite expected of this design is the potential to use two surfaces as a single combined display. The patent claims have mention of this too.
Another example can include any combination of the above and/or below examples where the device further includes a processor that generates a single graphical user interface for collective presentation across the displays when the device is in the fully open angular orientation and separate graphical user interfaces when the device is in other orientations.
Now, it’s not clear whether Microsoft will call its upcoming ultimate mobile devices as Surface Phone or something else, but it will certainly be branded as a Surface. Windows 10 on ARM has the ability to deliver Win32 apps on ARM devices running on Snapdragon 835.
So, perhaps a Surface Phone / Tablet hybrid with above design + Snapdragon 835 + Windows 10 on ARM is what looks like the dream Windows Mobile device from Microsoft.