Microsoft patents a new folding phone-related device, but it’s not the Surface Phone

The USPTO has just published a new patent application by Microsoft for a new peripheral device by Microsoft intended to make it easier to make phone calls.

Titled “User Input Peripheral”, the clamshell device would function both as a phone dock with built-in speakers and microphone, but also independently as a VOIP speaker for your PC.

Seemingly aimed at the iPhone peripheral market, the dock would feature notification lights and buttons which makes it easier to activate specific VOIP applications like Skype on your iPhone or PC, suggesting Microsoft intends to market the device to enterprise customers.

Seen in the open configuration above, Microsoft notes the device could be wired and tethered to your PC or wireless and connected by Bluetooth to your PC or phone, and for connected PCs would offer a notification feature even when your PC is sleeping.

In it’s undocked state above the device would feature a spring-loaded connector, and would still be able to deliver audible and visual notifications, allowing users to easily receive incoming VOIP phone calls.

The device appears to be in an advanced state of planning, given the completeness of the renders, suggesting in 2018 Microsoft may soon join Apple’s Made for iPhone accessories program.

The patents can be seen at the USPTO here.

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