Microsoft could be working on a new flexible screen laptop, if a recent patent application filed by the company is any indication of their future plans.
The new device will be divided into three sections. The top section will consist of a touchscreen typically found on laptops today. The middle section is a “transition” section that will bend while providing a taskbar and other navigation. The bottom section that can render a virtual keyboard or other input options as needed. For more details have a look at the diagram below:
Have a look at the abstract filed as part of the patent application: “A flexible electronic device is provided herein. The device may include a display unit having a continuous display area extending across a first section, a second section, and a transition section of the device, where the transition section is positioned between the first section and the second section. The device is configured to bend about a first axis positioned in a same plane as a center of the transition section, at a distance greater than zero from a first surface of the device positioned in the plane. The device may be configured to bend about a hinge positioned at least partially within the transition section. The device may include a sensor configured to identify a position of the first section relative to the second section of the device, and a processor configured to determine which image or images to display on the display unit based on the identified position.”
There are issues that Microsoft has to overcome. The first will be how they plan on including all the necessary hardware into a flexible device such as this, including a processor, memory, video card, storage, and much more. The other involves the flexible displays themselves:
“Flexible display devices may have problems with visual distortions appearing on the display screen after the display device has been bent one or more times,” the patent states. “The process of bending the display device may temporarily or permanently damage certain pixels within the display, locally altering the image by color and/or intensity. This provides challenges in the manufacturing design of a flexible display device.”
Microsoft’s design looks to be created in an effort to stop bend-based pixel damage that is currently an issue on any type of flexible display.
There has been a push in recent years to create flexible displays. Thus far we have seen it in the smartphone space, although we have yet to see a marketable device released for purchase. It seems Microsoft is working on taking this technology to the next level by creating a 2-in-1 device that will be much more natural to use.
It’s important to point out that just because a company files a patent, that doesn’t mean we will see a new device anytime soon, if ever, and if we do, it will most likely be high-end laptop that will cost you an arm and leg. Often patents are filed and products never follow. Still, the idea that companies such as Microsoft are working on flexible technology is a good sign of what is to come in the future.
What do you think about flexible technology such as smartphones and tablets? Tell me your thoughts both for and against in the comments below.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.