A new patent, that Microsoft registered in June 2017, has been published this month by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent shows how Microsoft has been looking into a new mobile computing device with a twist (via Windows Latest). It’s not clear if this is related to its Andromeda project, or if it’s even a smartphone at all – it could very well be a laptop.
It envisions a dual-screen device. Each display has its own camera, creating a dual-screen, dual-camera device. The two displays are set up in a way that will allow “the first and second display devices to each simultaneously display image data captured by the second camera, and image data received from a remote computing device”.
Microsoft sights problems with video calls, particularly when there are multiple participants and different positions involved, saying:
Users interact with multi-screen mobile devices throughout a variety of positions, including holding the device vertically, holding the device with a primary screen facing toward the user, holding the screen with a second screen facing toward the user, and other positions and orientations. Conventionally, it may be difficult for users in the same physical space to be part of a video call when they are not in proximity to one another, especially when there are three or more participants. They may lose sight of each other or a remote user, and it may be difficult to tell if the users are in frame of the cameras recording them,
The company believes that with this patent, it has a solution.
To address the above issues, a mobile computing device is provided. The mobile computing device may comprise a housing having a first part and a second part, the first part including a first display and the second part including a second display. A first camera may be mounted in the first part of the housing, and a second camera mounted in the second part of the housing. A processor may be mounted in the housing and configured to operate in a camera mode in which the processor is configured to process image data captured by the first and second cameras. When a predetermined trigger condition is satisfied, the processor is configured to cause the first display to concurrently display a video feed of the image data captured by the second camera and a video feed of image data received via a computer network from a remote computing device, and to cause the second display to concurrently display the video feed of image data captured by the second camera and the video feed of image data received via the computer network from the remote computing device
The patent can be viewed here.