Microsoft is probably the company who has tried out the most flexible or foldable devices behind the scenes, without actually delivering a palpable one for us to play with. The latest piece of news related to such a machine comes in the form of a few patents, that hint at a special flexible display, that does not crease.
If you’ve been watching the whole Galaxy Fold debacle, trouble also included creases of the device and lint getting stuck in between components. Recently we also learned that Microsoft was working on a dual panel folding laptop known as Centaurus. Now a 2017 patent for “moveable display supports, computing devices using same and methods of use” has come up, explaining how Microsoft will achieve their goals.
The idea is to use movable supports for the folding screen, so it will prevent any sort of bending of the screen in any direction than the direction of the fold. Also, the design of the hinge includes an expanding element, that allows the hinge to stay in contact with the screen, while also allowing it to expand, on account of the curvature of the fold when closing.
We could compare this to a watch belt, the metallic kind or maybe tank tracks. It’s also applied in robotic arms and it’s a very complicated mechanism to be included on a mere phone or tablet. Microsoft seems to have developed a fascination for hinges, judging by all over their patents. The Surface Book hinge is particularly well done, by the way.