Microsoft has employed a lot of creative thinking in the development of their foldable phone/tablet device, believed to be code-named Andromeda.
This has been evidenced by the number of patents which has been published, most filed in the summer of 2016.
The latest to hit the web is for the “MAGNETIC BLOCK LOCKING OF AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE”, which describes a unique magnetic lock with a number of useful properties.
I suspect most of us will be familiar with magnetic locks on laptops to keep the two halves of the device closed. When used in a pocketable device this does present an issue, however, as a strong magnetic field may demagnetize or overwrite magnetic swipe cards.
Microsoft’s invention is a strong magnet on a pivot with torsion spring which would rotate on the pivot when the two halves are brought closer to each other, bringing them in close proximity and then offering a stronger lock in the closed position while only having a minimal magnetic field in the open position.
The rotating magnet also has the advantage of being able to rotate in both directions, meaning it can keep the device closed in both the 0-degree position and also when opened 360-degrees (with both displays facing outwards).
Microsoft is also envisioning having the same type of magnetic lock in the hinge section of the device, where it could lock the device in the 180-degree open position securely.
The existence of the patent does not, of course, guarantee the technology will be used or that the device will even come into existence, and I suspect such a movable element would eventually have reliability issues.
The full patent can be seen here.