Microsoft’s FlexCase is an interactive display cover you can use as a secondary screen

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Display covers serve a mainly protective function, preventing scratches and other damage to your smartphone. They also usually feature distinctive design, coming in various shapes and colors to match your personality or taste. But what if they could also serve a functional purpose? This is exactly what Microsoft is trying to do with its FlexCase, an amazing display cover that can also interact with your phone. This idea is the result of a joint collaboration between Microsoft’s Research Team and two research institutes from Austria.

For the time being, the FlexCase is only a proof of concept and is not yet available on the market. However, taking into account that Microsoft directly participated in the creation of this cover, it’s likely we’ll find it in Microsoft’s Store in the near future. We are sure many Windows 10 phone users will buy the FlexCase because it can add so much value to their phones.

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FlexCase can be used in various modes:

  1. Book Mode extends screen space, providing two reading displays and allowing for paper-like interactions.
  2. In Laptop Mode, the FlexCase transforms into a keyboard, allowing you to write faster.
  3. In Backside Mode, the covers becomes a touch-and-bend sensor at the back of the device for addition interaction while users use the main display.

How do all these modes impact battery life? Microsoft gave us the answer in the presentation paper of FlexCase:

The secondary display can be used for displaying persistent information without battery drain but can also act as a high-fidelity input device for continuous interaction.

 

The FlexCase is an unobtrusive companion of your smartphone while not significantly affecting battery life or adding weight to your device. Used as a display, FlexCase has a lower resolution and a lower refresh rate than your phone’s display, and as such Microsoft suggests offloading static content to the secondary display for instant access.

If you want to read more about FlexCase, including its technical details, check out the presentation by the SIGCHI (Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction).

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