For more than a year, it has been reported that Microsoft is developing a Surface phone, also referred to as the Andromeda device. If recent reports are true, the phone may come with a dual screen. According to a patent that Microsoft recently filed, it could also come with a feature that allows ‘page flipping’.
In January 2017, the company applied for a patent with the impressive-sounding title of 'Navigational Aid for a Hinged Device via Semantic Abstraction'. The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) published the application a few days ago.
Windows Latent first spotted the patent. While the application does not specifically mention the Andromeda service or a Surface phone, it does mention a dual-screen device, precisely the way the Surface phone will reportedly look. In the patent documents, the firm writes that ‘mobile devices’ with more than one display, connected via a hinge, bring difficulties into the equation that can't be resolved by ‘conventional gesture input.’
The firm proceeds to compare this to a book, saying that with this particular patent, the user will be able to view two pages on the device, in a manner similar to a notebook or book. In the application, the company also states that a device such as this, with a hinge, would be useful to create content such as documents, journal entries, or notes. The patent’s concept reminds one of the ill-fated Courier concept tablets, which Microsoft abandoned some years ago.
There is no guarantee that this will result in a commercial product. Like many other companies, Microsoft often registers patents that never find their way to real-world products, so we must wait and see about this one.