Screens. The bigger they get, the harder they are to fit into your pocket. Gone are the days when people were content with a phone display the size of your thumb. Shame. Now everyone seems to be carrying a PC in their pocket with a screen the size of a small badger holding a handheld gaming console. But even this isn’t enough; as evidenced by our need for tablets and computers the size of a bible.

Recently, a Microsoft patent regarding hinged displays surfaced online. This particular patent isn’t for a high-end computer or the next in AR tech, though. It’s much smaller and details how a larger screen can be created by folding two smaller screens together.

Now this isn’t exactly a design innovation by any stretch of the imagination; that is, until you realize the company is obviously trying to eliminate, or at least minimize, the ever-visible gap between two folded screens. By replacing such an annoying element with a bendable screen that directs light towards the eyes, users could potentially be able to view the gap as a part of the screen rather than a divider.

Sure, it’s still a concept, but many people see this as fuel for speculation that a mobile Surface Note is on the way. Though the Surface encompasses a specific part of Microsoft that handles laptops and designer studios, it doesn’t really have something that can be classified as “handheld.” This patent may just be what gets artists out of their basements and looking for sources of inspiration away from the internet.

If you can’t wait to see what a product using this concept looks like, you aren’t the only one. Ryan Smalley, an industrial designer for companies such as Google, Oppo, and Microsoft itself, has put up a bunch of conceptual designs on Behance for what could inspire the Microsoft Surface Note.

Doesn’t it make you wish your current phone could bend it like Beckham?

What he comes up with is a foldable phone that can transform into a studio tablet. While the studio is something to behold, it’s how the phone makes use of the larger screen that deserves special mention. The versatile design allows the Surface Note to take selfies both from the front and back but is still compact enough that it can fit into a small bag.

Though the project may still be far from completion, Microsoft may just have something that changes the way hardware and software are made and the way hardware and software are used.

What do you think though? Practical?


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.