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Microsoft patent could be our latest look at the Surface Phone

We know a new phone from Microsoft is on the way, but at this point details are sparse, so any new information is a welcome development.

In November, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the Australia Financial Review that Microsoft is working on the “ultimate mobile device,” but beyond that, very little is known about the phone.

There’s a ton of rumours doing the rounds of course, but today we’ve got a brand new patent that could hint at the Surface Phone design.

Related: Surface Phone

This one comes via Microsoft watcher @h0x0d, who tweeted a link to a patent for a foldable device with a particulalry interesting approach to collapsible displays.

Originally filed in 2015, the patent was made public yesterday and details a screen made up of several separate displays.

Microsoft has previously filed patents for devices with hinges, but this latest filing details both folding mobile devices and large, tiled displays.

Essentially, the company describes a multi-layered screen made up of panels with curved edges which sit below a single upper layer.

The idea is that the curves will make the whole display seem like a single panel by drawing light away from gaps in the tiles.

Microsoft Patent Surface Phone

As the patent states: “In order to reduce and/or obscure the visibility of a support structure for a display panel, the present disclosure provides example display devices including curved or otherwise bent regions for directing light to a user’s eye when the user’s gaze is directed to a support structure at an edge of the display panel.

“In this way, when a user is viewing a region occupied by the support panel, the user may instead see light from the display panel showing the displayed objects.”

Of course, a patent is no guarantee of a consumer product actually hitting the market, so at this point we can’t confirm whether this particular design will be released.

We’re also unclear on whether the design will be used for a smartphone or not, so even if it does arrive in some form, it could be a tablet rather than a phone.

What do you think of the patent? Let us know in the comments.

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