Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 but to everyone’s surprise, the Surface Book 3 was missing. Microsoft hasn’t officially talked about the Book 3 and we don’t know if the device even exists but we do know that Microsoft is working on new tech for future Surface Book.
According to a patent (via WindowsUnited) filed earlier this year, Microsoft is working on a secondary display to capture handwriting and input from the Surface Pen. The patent titled “Computing device with detachable writing input device” was filed with the WIPO in May of 2019. The patent talks about a display with a digitizer to capture entries via the Surface pen. The patent notes that this display could be on the back on the keyboard or beside the trackpad.
A computing device is described herein for capturing handwritten marks. It includes a main computing unit and a detachable writing input device joined by a connecting mechanism. The main computing unit includes a main display device, while the writing input device hosts a keyboard and a writing surface. The writing surface, in turn, includes a digitizer for capturing ink data in response to a user drawing on the writing surface, and writing display device for displaying ink strokes associated with the ink data that has been captured. A transfer control component transfers the ink data captured by the writing input device to the main computing unit upon a triggering event, such as the reconnection of the writing input device to the main computing unit. The computing device also includes a clustering component for classifying note pages received from the writing input device into one or more categories of notes.
As always patents don’t always translate to real-life products but we do hope that Microsoft pulls off this one as it would make Surface Book a perfect machine to carry around without needing extra monitors or a full-fledged setup.