Goodbye to two screens? Microsoft files patent for 360 degree foldable display.

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David Imel / Android Authority

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TL;DR

  • Microsoft has filed a patent for a 360-degree foldable display.
  • The design uses flexible glass with a backplate to avoid creasing.
  • The design should be stronger than other flexible glass designs, such as the Galaxy Fold.

Microsoft may be preparing to turn the foldable smartphone market on its head with a new design that would eliminate hinges and address issues with traditional folding methods.

Microsoft has filed a patent application for a revolutionary type of folding mechanism, one that relies on a section of flexible glass to allow 360 degrees of motion. Unlike other designs that use flexible glass and eventually develop creases, Microsoft’s uses a backing plate with slots that are designed to keep the glass in pristine condition.

The patent application describes a process that utilizes “configurations of foldable glass with a backplate comprising backplate slots that facilitate folding while avoiding mechanical creases.” Microsoft goes on to describe the benefits of its design, including the fact that the “display devices of the present disclosure can freely rotate through various angles and orientations while also exhibiting substantially uniform and smooth surfaces in various folded and flat orientations.”

Read more: All you need to know about the Microsoft Surface Duo

As an added benefit, the backplate design will help Microsoft’s device be more mechanically robust than other devices using a flexible glass approach, such as the Galaxy Fold.

Foldable phones are widely considered to be the next evolution of smartphone design, allowing smaller phones to double as tablet-sized devices. If Microsoft is able to deliver on its innovation, it could help propel foldable phones into the mainstream.

Here’s to hoping this mechanism is incorporated in the Surface Duo 3.

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