Microsoft's engineering teams worked on and delivered the foldable smartphone branded the Surface Duo and provided and updated the device to the Surface Duo 2 in 2021 as presented below. One of the key aspects of the design is of course the foldable hinge. Now Microsoft's mechanical hinge team have invented the foldable PC mouse which was published by the U.S. Patent Office on Thursday, November 17, 2022. They've been working on this since April 2020.
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In their patent background, Microsoft states that a computer mouse is commonly used input device for a variety of computer systems. Portable computers, such as a laptops and tablet computing devices, have become increasing popular. However, conventional computer mouse designs are often too bulky or inconvenient to carry around with a portable computing device and smaller travel-sized computer mouse designs often lack an ergonomic design and may be unconformable to use. There are significant areas for new and approved computer mouse designs that are portable and ergonomic.
Microsoft's patent covers a foldable computer mouse that solves the technical problem outlined above by being both portable and ergonomic. The computer mouse of the instant application provides a technical solution to this problem by including a deformable body configured to be formed into a first folded configuration in which the computer mouse has a small portable size and into a second expanded configuration in which the computer mouse expands into an ergonomic form usable for receiving user inputs for controlling a computing device.
The computer mouse may provide numerous technical benefits. The foldable form factor of the mouse may allow the mouse to be folded around at least a portion the case or housing of a portable computing device with which the mouse is to be used, such as but not limited to a tablet or laptop device as noted in patent FIG. 1B below.
Attaching the mouse to the case of the computing device reduces the likelihood of the computer mouse be misplaced while traveling with the computing device.
Furthermore, the computer mouse may also receive power from the computing device while the mouse is attached to the case or housing of the computing device. This allows the computer mouse to be charged and ready to be used.
Microsoft's patent FIG. 1A below illustrates an example of a foldable mouse with FIG. 1C illustrating two touch sensitive regions #105a and #105b that are oriented toward the nose of the mouse #100. The touch sensitive regions may comprise a capacitive sensor, force sensor, or other type of sensor that is configured to detect tactile inputs.
Microsoft's patent FIG. 4A above illustrates another example view of the deformable body of the foldable mouse that illustrates the top side of the deformable body and in which the deformable body in the expanded configuration; FIG. 4B shows another example view of the deformable body that illustrates the top side of the deformable body and in which the deformable body in the folded configuration.
Microsoft's patent FIG. 8 above illustrates the foldable mouse with a cover over the deformable body and the expandable shell of the foldable mouse.
For more on this, review Microsoft's patent application US 20220365612 A1.
Could this be a coming PC trend? Better yet, could it be something that Apple could possibly consider in the future? Send in your comments below or on our Twitter feed.