Microsoft is no stranger to innovation, having shipped some great products under its Surface brand, such as Surface Duo and Surface Book. Microsoft is currently working on the next-generation dual-screen phone called “Surface Duo 3” and its next experiment may be more sustainable, according to recently released patent details.
A new patent titled “FOLDABLE DISPLAY DEVICE” shows a dual-screen foldable device that uses a single foldable screen. Microsoft calls it a “one-piece back cover” which apparently uses stretch material in a stretch area and it’s located next to the hinge, which means it’s similar to the Galaxy Fold.
The main advantage is that this new design should not take up too much space in the body of the foldable phone, which means that Microsoft’s next-generation foldable Android phones could be thinner than a dual-screen device, and this design of “back cover” is more durable than the Galaxy Fold and similar foldable phones, so it’s less likely to break.
In the patent application, Microsoft talks about a foldable device that bends 360 degrees at a foldable part. It uses a back cover and a protective glass layer covering the entire screen, and an electroluminescent layer is added between the back cover and the protective glass layer to ensure a natural experience.
There is also a back plate between the back cover and the light-emitting layer.
While that sounds exciting, we know that devices using a single screen or an ultra-thin layer of glass with a plastic wrap have visible mechanical creases. A perfect example is the Samsung Fold, which has wrinkles and other visual artifacts at the foldable portion of the screen, and it’s also vulnerable to cracks and other physical damage.
This patented Surface Duo 3 uses bendable glass with a backplate that uses “backplate slots” that allow for bending while avoiding mechanical kinks.
“Current examples also offer consistent transparency and light transmission across the screen, including the bendable portion, as well as mechanically robust components. In this manner, the display devices of the present disclosure can freely rotate to various angles and orientations while exhibiting substantially uniform and smooth surfaces in various folded and flat orientations to provide a pleasing, high quality look and feel to a user. user,” Microsoft noted in the patent application.
The patented Surface Duo 3 could be a durable device with most of the benefits of a foldable phone. At the same time, it will also have fewer problems. Of course, it’s just a patent and there’s no guarantee it’ll ever join the Microsoft Surface lineup, but let’s not forget that the original Surface Duo initially only existed on paper.
Considering the recent organizational shake-up and Microsoft’s increased focus on the Android platform, there’s definitely a chance of this device happening.
We’re not convinced Surface Duo 3 with the existing design or this ambitious idea would land anytime soon. Indeed, Microsoft is currently focusing on software for Surface Duo-like devices and the next-gen dual-screen or foldable phone has been delayed.