Your next Microsoft device may well have a foldable screen

Kit McDonald

Microsoft Campus

We’ve seen many patents come and go from Microsoft’s hardware division. However, as more come to surface for what can only be described as the next step in mobile design, enthusiasts are clamoring to check out the latest news. Known Microsoft aficionado Walking Cat has discovered what could be signs of the next foldable device from Microsoft (via Windows Central.)

According to the publication PDF, Microsoft Technology in Redmond has applied for patent what appears to be a foldable tablet. Windows Central speculates that it could even be the Surface Phone re-surfacing. Guesses aside, the submission by Microsoft emphasizes the obscured displays of 2-in-1s and laptops when the display has a bracket, hinge, or joint.

“In order to reduce and/or obscure the visibility of a support structure for a display panel, the present disclosure provides example display devices including curved or otherwise bent regions for directing light to a user’s eye when the user’s gaze is directed to a support structure at an edge of the display panel.”

In other words, the answer to Microsoft is to create an optical illusion with a bent display to hide the workings of the device and create what appears to be a seamless image. As with any early concept, this patent publication seems to be full of ideas and ways to achieve the desired effect, resulting in lists of examples.

Perhaps more interestingly, there is also mention of utilizing this type of display in devices without whereas they could be placed side by side or folded with another of its caliber. As the application repeatedly announces, “numerous variations are possible.”


It’s worth noting that patents often come and go without fanfare. This particular patent was filed in 2015 and has just recently become available publicly. But at least one thing is transparent, Microsoft is continuing to explore ways to create a seamless display in a way that will be efficient, innovative and durable.