In 2019, Microsoft launched Surface Pro X with an innovative
solution to recharge the stylus ‘Surface Slim Pen’. The pen is
designed for fitting into the notch on the detachable Surface
Pro X keyboard and when the pen is stored, it’s also recharging
with a small green light.
Microsoft also appears to be working on a similar
implementation for its next-gen Surface Pro lineup. According
to a patent filing, Surface Pro 8 or the next-gen Surface Pro X
could come with wireless charging coil located on its edges to
recharge your Surface Pen and even other products.
The patent was applied by Microsoft in October 2019 and
published by the WIPO on May
7, 2020, and noticed by us today.
As per the filing, the next-gen Surface Pro may have a
‘charging source side’ and it will be aligned with an aperture
in the metal casing of the computing. The aperture is aligned
with a shield and wireless charging coil is wrapped around the
shield for some configurations.
Microsoft says its wireless charging coil can also be located
between the shield and the metal casing of the Surface device.
This provides wireless charging to the target electronic device
(Surface Pen). In theory, the power from the source coil would
be transmitted to the receiver coil and it will charge the
rechargeable battery of the Surface Pen.
“A first providing operation provides a first aperture in a
metal casing of an electronic device. The first aperture
includes at least two sub-apertures connected by at least one
channel. In some implementations, each of the two sub-apertures
provides access to a port of the electronic device, such as USB
ports,” Microsoft noted.
The same implementation can be used for near field
communication (NFC). The wireless charging frequency is
actually the same as the NFC frequency and the configuration
including the antenna assembly can be used for both wirelessly
charging the Surface Pen and NFC capability of the device.
Either way, this isn’t something new for Microsoft. The company
has previously implemented storage space in the Type Cover to
recharge and hide Surface Pen. The patent dives a bit deeper
into the future plans of Microsoft and how the edges of the
device can be used for recharging a pen.
While the diagrams do show a device that looks a lot like a new
Surface Pro, it is important to note that not all patents end
up being produced.