It was rumored that Microsoft was working on a folding device similar to a notebook, much like the Courier concept of the company. A patent at the beginning of this year provided a scheme for this device, but this week a new patent emerged with many more details. The patent refers to an "articulated device" and has been filed by Microsoft Surface engineers who are responsible for creating several hinges and Surface devices.
The device seems to have two separate screens and sections that fold together or flat, just like Lenovo Yoga Book. The images also show how the mysterious device could be turned over and used as a bedside table. While there are not many details about the software for such a device, Microsoft's patent presentation includes many intricate details about how the hinge works. Microsoft seems to be using gears similar to gears to create this adjustable hinge, which allows the device to be held in different positions.
Several examples of use in the presentation are provided, including a user interface that extends across both screens with a very small space. A virtual keyboard and a touchpad are also displayed in one section, while the other has a running weather broadcast. Previous reports suggested that the Microsoft Courier-type device would include two screens that fold like a book and a touch pen to take notes. Windows Central previously reported that Microsoft is also working on a dedicated portable application for the device, which is said to mimic writing as a real laptop.
None of the patent presentation images shows a stylus with the device, but the presentation seems to focus largely on what looks like a unique hinge for such a product. Microsoft engineers are obsessed with the details of the hinges for its range of Surface devices, and the company has created a unique support for Surface Pro and Surface Studio devices, and a removable screen for the Surface Book.
It is not clear if such a device to reach the Microsoft market previously played with the idea of a Surface Mini, but CEO Satya Nadella canceled the project only a few weeks before its presentation. Surface boss Panos Panay described the device voided as "impressive" and "as a Moleskine", and the filtered Surface Mini images gave us a more detailed idea of what Microsoft was experiencing.
In the run-up to the release of Microsoft's Surface Studio, the software maker submitted patents for an all-in-one PC that were identical to the hardware it finally unveiled. If Microsoft is really preparing to launch a new mobile device, these patent images could give us an early look at what you have planned.
Patent images have been edited to remove labels for clarity.