Microsoft patent details foldable device’s orientation features

Microsoft Surface Centaurus
Image Courtesy: Ryan Smalley

Microsoft is continuing its development of a folding device and
more hints have been dropped in a new patent application
uncovered by us. A new patent from Microsoft has revealed
how a foldable phone can use a hardware-based
orientation-specific actuator to control its functionality.

Spotted by us, the patent titled ‘ORIENTATION SPECIFIC CONTROL’
was filed by Microsoft in 2018 and published by
USPTO on July 18, 2019. The patent is entirely about
orientation-specific control of the foldable mobile device.

Microsoft says the patented device includes an
orientation-specific actuator that would control the device’s
functionality. This technology provides a first functionality
related to a first orientation of the computing device in
response to the engagement of the orientation-specific
actuator. Similarly, the device also provides second
functionality when the orientation-specific actuator is engaged
in an activity.

The present concepts relate to orientation specific control of
a device. In some implementations, different functionality for
controlling the device can be accessible depending on an
orientation of the device, such as a closed or an opened
orientation. An example device can be a foldable computing
device,” Microsoft noted in the patent document.

Foldable phone patent
Image Courtesy: USPTO / Microsoft

“Engaging an orientation specific actuator (e.g., a button) of
the device while the device is in a closed orientation (e.g.,
folded together) can effect a first range of functionality.
However, when an orientation of the device changes, the
functionality accessible via the same orientation specific
actuator can also change. For example, when the device is in an
opened orientation, engaging the same orientation specific
actuator can effect a second, different range of functionality.
As such, orientation specific control concepts can provide
increased flexibility for components of a device and/or
simplify the user experience,” the patent reads.

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