Microsoft Patents a Foldable Phone with 360-degree Hinge

Microsoft’s Next Surface Duo: A Truly Foldable Smartphone

Back in 2019, when Microsoft unveiled its first-ever Android smartphone, the Surface Duo, it created a wave of excitement in the market. However, the device experienced setbacks and failed to meet expectations. Despite this, Microsoft is now planning to make a comeback with the Surface Duo, but this time with a twist. The company aims to develop a “truly foldable smartphone” that will revolutionize the industry.

Is This the Next Surface Duo Phone from Microsoft?

According to a patent filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, Microsoft is working on a device that utilizes a 360-degree hinge to bend a flexible OLED display both inwards and outwards. This groundbreaking technology, known as the “display frame translation mechanism,” sets this device apart from others in the foldable smartphone market.

While most foldable smartphones currently feature inward folding flexible displays like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Google Pixel Fold, or outward folding displays like the Honor V Purse, this Microsoft device will be the first to offer both options. This versatility is made possible by a continuous flexible OLED display and a complex 360-degree cam-based hinge mechanism that eliminates the tensile stress typically exerted on foldable screens.

If Microsoft succeeds in bringing this “truly foldable” dream to life, it could reshape the future of foldable smartphones. The device’s ability to bend the display both ways without damage raises questions about its durability compared to current plastic displays with a thin layer of glass. It remains to be seen if this technology will be similar to rollable display phone concepts.

While this patent may or may not result in a real product, Microsoft’s commitment to the smartphone market suggests promising developments. Whether consumers will embrace a foldable smartphone with a 360-degree hinge is yet to be seen. Share your thoughts on this new patent from Microsoft in the comments below.

Featured image: Microsoft Surface Duo 2 (2021)