Microsoft is no stranger to innovation and has delivered excellent products under its Surface brand, such as Surface Duo and Surface Book. Microsoft is now working on the next-generation dual-screen phone called ‘Surface Duo 3’ and the next experiment could be more durable, according to recently published patent details.
A new patent titled “FOLDABLE DISPLAY DEVICE” shows a foldable dual screen device that uses a single foldable screen. Microsoft calls it a “one-piece back cover” that apparently uses a stretchable material in an expandable area and is located next to the hinge, meaning it’s similar to the Galaxy Fold.
The main advantage is that this new design doesn’t take up too much space in the foldable phone case, meaning Microsoft’s next-generation foldable Android phones can be slimmer than a dual-screen device, and this “back cover” design is more durable than Galaxy Fold and comparable foldable phones, so less chance of breakage.
In the patent application, Microsoft talks about a foldable device that can be folded 360 degrees on a foldable part. It uses a back cover and a cover glass layer that covers the entire screen, and a light-emitting layer is added between the back cover and the cover glass layer to ensure a natural experience.
There is also a back plate between the tailgate and the luminescent layer.
While this may sound exciting, we know that single screen devices or ultra-thin glass with a plastic film have visible mechanical creases. A perfect example is the Samsung Fold, which has creases and other visual artifacts on the folding portion of the screen, and it’s also vulnerable to cracks and other physical damage.
This patented Surface Duo 3 uses a folding glass with a back plate that uses “back plate slots” that allow folding without mechanical creasing.
“Current examples also provide consistent transparency and light transmission across the screen, including the folding portion, along with mechanically robust components. In this way, 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 to impart a pleasing and high-quality look and feel to a user,” Microsoft noted in the patent application.
The patented Surface Duo 3 could be a durable device with most of the benefits of a foldable phone. At the same time, it will also have fewer problems. It’s just a patent, of course, and there’s no guarantee it will ever join the Microsoft Surface lineup, but let’s not forget that the original Surface Duo was initially only on paper.
Given the recent reorganization of the organization and Microsoft’s increased focus on the Android platform, there is certainly a chance that this device could happen.
We’re not convinced that Surface Duo 3 would ever land with the existing design or this ambitious idea. That’s because Microsoft is currently targeting the software of Surface Duo-like devices and the next-gen dual-screen or foldable phone has been delayed.