Microsoft files a patent for a phone that can be folded in two directions

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When we talk about book-type foldable phones, the market has gone in two different directions. there is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3-way, where the large display folds inwards and remains in the shell of the phone, with a secondary screen on the outside, which you can use for quick actions, a-la “regular smartphone”. Then there’s the Huawei Mate Xs 2-way, with the screen folding on the outside of the device – so when folded, you’re still using that large screen as your main source for viewing and use.

Both concepts have their pros and cons, with many wondering, “Do I want an inward or outward folding phone?”. Well, Microsoft would like to ask “Why not both?”.
A patent was recently filed by Redmond’s team that outlines a foldable phone with a flap that can go 360 degrees around its hinge – so it can fold in and out. yes the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 can absolutely do this, but the Duo phones are clearly devices with 2 screens that are screwed together by a hinge in the middle. The patent discovered here shows a phone with a seamless screen, from one side to the other.

That sounds pretty heavy – a screen that can fold in and out right down the middle and still withstand all that physical strain. Is it even possible?

LG Display attended SID 2022 (Society for Information Display expo) and showed its vision for: the future of OLED† There were a few concept devices on the show floor — both smartphone and laptop-shaped — with flaps that could fold all the way in and out to a 360-degree angle (1:12 in the video below).

The screens are made with ultra-thin glass technology and have a special oleophobic coating that should be at least a little better at keeping fingerprints away from the glossy screen. So in theory, this could be the exact technology Microsoft plans to use for its outward-folding phone.

Will this be the Surface Duo 3? That is possible. The rumor mill is pretty quiet on another Surface Duo right now, and it looks like Microsoft may skip this year to refine its folding concept. So it’s very possible that we’ll see a high-tech Surface Duo 3… in a year or two.

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