The company is developing the technology to produce a phone with an enormous fold-away screen.
(CCM) — Microsoft appears to be planning a smartphone with a jumbo-sized screen which folds out to create a display area much larger than any existing phone, according to a Business Insider report.
The company has filed a patent for a "Hinge with Free-Stop Function" which can connect two screens in such a way that it is invisible when they are unfolded and lain flat, and which also allows the screens to be held at any angle to each other, in a similar way to a laptop screen and base.
The rationale for a folding screen is that devices cannot be made much larger while still fitting in users' pockets, and screen sizes cannot be increased within many existing device form-factors because phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 already have "edge-to-edge" screens, Microsoft said.
"With a dual-display device, the mobile phone or tablet can include an open, expanded position where both displays are flush so that the user feels like there is a single integrated display. In a closed, condensed position, both displays are face-to-face so as to protect the displays. In a fully-open position, the dual displays can sit back-to-back so the user needs to flip the device to view the opposing display," the company explained in the patent filing.
A new device with a folding display may be released as early as 2018, the report concludes.
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