The next innovation to take the smartphone ecosystem by a storm would be foldable displays in an array of different devices. Microsoft has also decided to join the party by being awarded a set of patents for its foldable devices. This further predicts a coherent change in trend, that is expected to be witnessed in the coming year — most likely from the likes of Samsung or Apple.

Initially spotted by Windows Central, the set of patents have been awarded to Microsoft just last week. And the new patents show off some completely deranged prototypes with two or even three foldable hinges. These hinges enable the user to either fold their device into the size of a particularly ‘thick’ smartphone or a tablet device. You can also balance the foldable screens onto each other to form a stand or tent-like structure while using the device.

And we’re not stopping at hinges, why would we!? Microsoft is placing multiple hinges on its patented devices to also include more than one display. The various configurations shown off in the patents reveal double as well as triple screened phones — which might also allow you to convert it into a mini-laptop. It has recently also been awarded a patent for an electrical hinge design, which will be essential across all of its devices.

Further, the patent filings also shed light on another set of different devices including one with a slide-out design. The said design can have a cohort of use-cases, leading to a combination of varied configurations. We could witness the inclusion of modular hardware support in this device. One could attach modules to the back of the foldable display, which opens up from the slide-out case.

Though these are just patents filings, there is no saying whether Microsoft is building prototypes along these lines. But, these designs fall in line with Redmond’s vision and creativity, which has been shown off through the huge 32-inch touchscreen — Surface Studio. The company is now breaking boundaries to deliver touch devices with capabilities you might have never witnessed before. These devices could also be a part of the same high-end  ‘Surface’ product lineup, we’ve direly been waiting for.

This development comes on the heels of Korean giants — LG and Samsung — planning to debut working foldable displays later this year. The two are said to be working on their prototypes, which came out last year. And if sources are to be believed, we could see the release of such a folding smartphone by the end of this year. Though it might be sort of gimmicky but will eventually push others to churn out concept phones of a similar sort.

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