Microsoft might have killed off its Windows Mobile devices, but the company is still working on a smallish device with dual screens that will slip into the Surface family. The device has dual displays that meet in the middle with a trick hinge. The major details that the patent images and abstract focus on is the hinge system that allows the device to fold into just about any position you might need.
One of the images even shows the device folded into a teepee with a traditional alarm clock face that aims at the user. That might be a very nice feature considering how many people rely on their smartphone as an alarm clock at night. Having the device tented up would keep you from having to reach over and hit a button in the night to wake up the screen and check the time.
Microsoft writes in the description about the hinge, “The present concepts relate to devices, such as computing devices employing hinge assemblies that can rotationally secure first and second device portions relative to a first hinge axis that relates to the first portion and a second hinge axis that relates to the second portion. From one perspective, some of the present hinge assemblies can be viewed as being ‘self-regulating’ in that rotation is controlled so that an extent of rotation around the first hinge axis corresponds to an extent of rotation around the second hinge axis.”
That sounds as if this isn’t so much a patent showing off a specific device as it is a patent that is showing off a hinge that can be used for all sorts of devices. Anyone who works frequently from a laptop would much appreciate a dual screen device where the screen is able to fold out giving them more screen space for working on the go.
Microsoft does note that electronic components like circuit boards, processors, and storage or memory can be secured inside both [display] sections of the device. This means that while the device folds into a smaller area than a traditional notebook or tablet, it can cram the same components inside.
We first heard that Microsoft was still working on a dual screen device still back in October when rumors surfaced of an upcoming Courier-style device. Those rumors also clammed that the dual-screen device was codenamed Andromeda.