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A few Microsoft patents published this week covered the Reinvention of their Surface Duo foldable smartphone and future Smartglasses


Microsoft took a big leap back in September 2020 when they released a two-display foldable smartphone branded Microsoft Surface Duo. It was different than the first Galaxy Z Fold from Samsung that introduced a large single display that folded. Samsung's foldable styled smartphones have now been copied by Xiaomi, OPPO, Google and others and so the 2-display form factor from Microsoft was rejected by developers.

Back in June 2023, Microsoft announced that it was dropping support for Surface Duo in September (2023) – and they did. Yet the question becomes, is it really dead or simply being reinvented so to take on the same approach that Samsung took by using a single flexible display that folds over?  

A new Microsoft patent published last week in Europe would suggest that Microsoft is preparing to resurrect the Surface Duo with the new single folded display approach as noted in the patent figures presented below.

2 Microsoft-folding-phone-reinvented

The bottom patent figure presented above comes from their European patent WO2023150433 that was published in August 2023 just as Microsoft was discontinuing their original Surface Duo design.

The new patent states that some computing devices utilizing a flexible display substrate can deform as display supports beneath the flexible display are folded.  

One of the standouts of the invention relates to "foldable computing devices that incorporates a retractable spine cover plate that translates relative to a central spine in a manner that reduces a width of the devices when folded and reduces or eliminates gaps to protect from entry of undesirable materials."

For more details review Microsoft's patent WO2024045009 titled "Foldable Computing Device Spine Cover Plate.

Other Microsoft Patents of interest this week covered future smartglasses. For those that are interested, the first was published in the U.S. under number 20240080580 titled "Resolution Enhancement in Spatial-Frequency Space. The second was published in Europe this week under number EP4330630 titled "Composite Pose Estimate for Wearable Computing Device" (Smart glasses). 1 image from each of the patents are presented below.

3 Microsoft Smart Glasses
10.0x35 Patently Mobile


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