Microsoft patent proposes connecting two Surfaces for multi-screen layout

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Have you ever imagined being able to use your Surface device with others of its kind to have a multi-monitor set up? The potential might not be too far beyond Microsoft’s sights according to a recent report. Brazilian site Tecmundo has discovered a patent written up earlier this year in June by Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC.

The patent proposition describes the possibility of attaching Surface tablet devices together to extend the display, share data, and combine specifications. It reads:

Even though users may have access to a wide range of computing devices, conventional techniques to interact with these devices were provided by the computing devices separately. Accordingly, techniques are described herein to support physical and communicative connections between computing devices. For example, mobile computing devices such as tablets and phones may employ a slate form factor. A connection device may be used to provide a physical (e.g., magnetic) and communicative coupling between the devices, thereby permitting the devices to be used in combination, such as to expand an available display area, share processing and memory resources, and so on.

According to the patent application, Microsoft have a few ideas on how they could go about achieveing the extended displays for mobile devices. Not only are they considering the more data-centric communicative sharing, but they are also looking into creating a physical attachment between the two devices.

It’s been suggested that with the use of a magnetic coupling, the devices could be attached and enable communication as long as they remain intact with each other. There’s also some fascinating figure images that show the potential for making tablets into what can only be described as a rotational hinge attachment. This means that a digital keyboard could be used on the bottom tablet while the top is used for a monitor.

Of course, it’s safe to say that we shouldn’t get too excited about the possibility of seeing coupled Surface devices anytime soon. Not all proposals always turn out to merit investment. The patent was proposed in June and so far we haven’t seen evidence that the multi-monitor devices are on the near horizon. Still, it’s a fun prospect to think about and the development shouldn’t be ruled out completely just yet.