Unlike most folding phone makers, Microsoft decided to forego a flexible screen for their dual-screen handset, the Surface Duo, and instead opted for two panels separated by a considerable hinge.
In a new patent, Microsoft has suggested turning this curse into a blessing by adding a 3rd panel to the existing two that covers the hinge area.
Microsoft notes the hinge screen can be used to extend the display across the hinge, as in the illustration above, but can use be used for “virtual controls, interface elements, notifications, bookmarks” and much more.
Microsoft notes the display could be responsive to the orientation of the device and the fold angle of the hinge, for example in the fully open position (above) it may be used to extend the display across the two screens.
However, when the device is folded with the two screens outwards, as in the illustration above, the screen may be used to display items such as music controls and other shortcuts.
The latest version of the patent was applied for in July 2019, but I suspect by the time the Surface Duo 2 comes to market flexible screens will probably have been well established, making it unlikely the idea will ever hit the market.
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