Microsoft patents an interesting dual-screen device with focus on scanning and OS navigation

Hinged device patent
Image Courtesy: USPTO

Yet another patent from Microsoft shows off a dual-screen
device with a hinge but unlike any previous patents, this one
focuses on navigational aids to improve the user experience and
it has something to do with scanning capabilities.

First discovered by us, Microsoft applied for the patent titled
“Navigational Aid for a Hinged Device via Semantic Abstraction”
in January 2017. The patent filing was published by the U.S.
Patent & Trademark Office (UPSTO) earlier today (2nd August)
and it shows off an interesting dual-screen device.

In the background section of the patent, Microsoft explains
that “mobile devices” offers a variety of different
functionalities. The devices having multiple display surfaces
connected by a hinge introduces “complexities that are
typically not resolved using conventional gesture input

“In the context of a book or journal, for example, a user can
view two pages in a way that resembles a paper book or a note
book,” the company explains in the background section of the
patent application.

Microsoft patent for hinged device
Image Courtesy: USPTO

Microsoft further explains that the users may use
the hinged device to generate content, such as notes,
journal entries, documents, and so on.

“Some users may not organize their created content, and thus
finding specific content within their created content can be
challenging and time consuming,” the company adds. “This can
detract from user enjoyment and lead to user frustration when
using these types of devices”.

Microsoft appears to have figured out a solution to deal with
this problem. In the patent application, Microsoft
explains a new technique (navigational aids) that would improve
the user experience when the user is navigating through

“Techniques for navigational aid for a hinged device via
semantic abstraction are described. Generally, the techniques
described herein improve a user experience when the user is
navigating through content, such as user-generated content in
an electronic document. For example, the techniques described
herein semantically abstract authored content in an electronic
document to provide abstracted content. In implementations,
abstracted content includes abstracted pages that each
represent a different section of the authored content. When a
user scans through an electronic document, rather than scanning
page by page, techniques described herein instead navigate
through displays of the abstracted pages. In addition, a hinge
between different displays can be used as an input mechanism to
control a speed of navigating through the abstracted pages to
allow a user to more easily locate specific sections of the
authored content,” the company explains.

“The semantic abstractions can be generated based on a variety
of different information (e.g., metadata) associated with the
content, the user, and/or other users that view or co-author
the content”.

It appears that the patented device is aimed at enterprises
that may use it to scan the documents.

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