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It all began with Microsoft wanting to get into the hardware business and the challenge was to come up with something unique. Enters Surface Pro. Although wasn’t a great start, after a few attempts, the Redmond giant reached its desired destination. And after all these years, it is now aiming to incorporate some new mechanism into its Surface Pro line-up.
Microsoft recently found to be tweaking its Surface kickstand which we might see in action in the upcoming Surface Pro 7. A Microsoft patent published by USPTO gives us a closer look at how the Surface maker is trying to give a boost to the overall kickstand experience.
A hinge includes a shaft, a hinge blade engaging the shaft, a belt clamped about the shaft for rotation about the shaft, and pivotal movement relative to the hinge blade and a coupling disposed between the belt and the shaft. The clutch includes a collar disposed between the shaft and the band. The coupling is configured to lock and unlock the collar with the shaft. The rotation of the band about the shaft in a first direction locks the collar on the shaft for frictional movement of the band about the shaft at a first resistance level. The rotation of the belt around the shaft in a second direction unlocks the sleeve from the shaft for frictional movement of the belt about the shaft at a second resistance level lower than the first resistance level.
This will enable Microsoft to achieve different opening and closing resistance levels. If this mechanism translates to a real thing in the Surface Pro you will be able to close the kickstand with a much lower magnitude of force and for opening, the required magnitude of force will be higher.
The difference between the opening and closing resistance can be adjusted or otherwise determined by the width of the locking mechanism. For example, the width of the cuff can determine the difference in resistance levels. A larger collar covers a larger portion of the shaft and thus less shaft is designed for friction when closing, resulting in a lower closing resistance. In some cases, the diameter of the shaft may be lowered or otherwise reduced to allow such friction in receiving the cuff. The closing resistance can thus be adjusted to a desired level.
The below gallery will give a better idea about this new mechanism.