Microsoft’s latest patent hints at a 360° foldable screen


Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
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Microsoft's foldable device might have 360 degree hinge and magnetic closure

Microsoft is rumoured to be working on a dual-screen device for some time.

The codenamed device Centaurus was already seen by Microsoft employees back in June, but nothing else was revealed except for patents.

Centaurus is a dual-screen device with a laptop footprint and it has a mechanical hinge that we already talked about.

Two new patents reveal that Microsoft might still be working on Centaurus

Now, a new set of patents filed by the tech giant were published on Patentscope. These new patents show that the upcoming dual-screen device might have a 360-degree hinge and a magnetic closure.

Here’s how the hinge might work, described by Microsoft in their patent: Microsoft patent centaurus 360 degree hinge

The displays can rotate with respect to each other through 360 degrees. The displays can be face-to-face in a closed position, in a single plane in an open-book or tablet position, and back-to-back in a fully-open position. The hinge mechanism has at least one flexible connection member that follows a generally S-shaped path when the displays are in a tablet position. Each device can include a hinge lug that has top and bottom channels for receiving the flexible connection members. Both the first and second flexible connection members can be coupled together through a termination block. A screw can be threaded through the hinge lug and push on the termination block so as to create tension in the first and second flexible connection members.

And here’s how the company describes the magnetic closure in the second patent: centaurus magnetic closure patent

The described technology provides multi-sided magnetic access to an electromagnetic coil of a multi-configuration computing device in the presence of one or more metal structures, such as a conductive (e.g., metal, graphite) computer device chassis or midframe. An example implementation provides a computing device including a first computing device portion having one or more electrical components, a first side, a second side, an electromagnetic coil, and a first metal frame having a first through-slot. The computing device also a second computing device portion having one or more other electrical components, a third side, a fourth side and a second metal frame having a second through-slot.A mechanical joint connects the first computing device portion and the second computing device portion such that the first side is positioned to face the third side and the electromagnetic coil overlaps the first through-slot and the second through-slot along an axis running orthogonal to the first computing device portion and the second computing device portion.

It’s possible that we might see Centaurus at Microsoft‘s hardware event, on October 2, but the chances for that are really slim.

As always, keep in mind that these are just patents and we don’t know for sure if the big M will actually bring them to life or if they will remain only ideas.

Now back to you: What’s your take on the 360-degree hinge and the magnetic closure?

Share your opinions in the comments section below and we’ll continue the talk.