Microsoft has been working on a dual-screen Surface device that may well resemble the company’s Courier concept.
The software giant is expected to tease the device at its Surface hardware event next month, but new patents show that it work goes far beyond just dual-screen hardware.
A new patent, spotted by WindowsUnited, has surfaced that reveals they have been working on a special hinge that uses liquid to reduce the stress on flexible and foldable displays.
It seems that just about every major company is working on a foldable device of some kind. Samsung just came out with the Galaxy Fold, Huawei is bringing in the Mate X soon and Lenovo unveiled its Thinkpad X1 sometime ago
Other devices have had issues with debris falling in and damaging the device when it’s opened and closed, hence filling the cavity with liquid might be a possible solution.
The liquid can be filled inside cavities around the flexible display to help it bend and move into different positions.
This example shows a device with two separate sides and a flexible OLED display that extends across the entire device.
Microsoft has long been focused on complex and impressive hinge work with its Surface devices, and this particular hinge is described in a lot of detail in the patent filing.
Illustrations that show multiple concepts of a complex hinge assembly with structures to “prevent foreign materials from entering the hinge assembly/device.”
Samsung had its own issues with debris getting underneath early units of the Galaxy Fold,
And the company had to go back to the drawing board to figure out a way to fix the hardware. Microsoft clearly wants to avoid a similar scenario.
Since this is only a patent, we won’t see a foldable Microsoft Surface Book anytime soon, if we see one at all.
Consider this more of a glimpse of what Microsoft-powered foldable devices might look like in the future.