Microsoft’s foldable device will use liquid to reduce stress on display

Microsoft Surface concept
Image Courtesy: Ryan Smalley

Microsoft has just patented a foldable Windows 10 device that
could be for the highly-anticipated Surface Centaurus. In the
filing, Microsoft has detailed a new fluid-based technology to
reduce stress on display during the rotation and improve the
durability of this complex device.

The foldable devices have a flexible screen made of plastic and
there is a complex hinge that makes the devices more breakable
than smartphones and 2-in-1s. A complex hinge system is going
to fail eventually. And while it’s impossible to find a
replacement for a hinge system on such a device, Microsoft
appears to have discovered a technology to make the hinge and
rotation stronger.

A patent titled ‘HINGED Device’ was published by
USPTO on September 12 and it shows off another innovative
device from the Redmond firm. The patent is for a dual-screen
foldable device with a fluid-filled deformable member that can
deform so that the flexible display can maintain a minimum bend

Stronger foldable device
Image Courtesy: USPTO / Microsoft

As you can see in the above drawings, the fluid-filled
deformable member is positioned between the flexible display
and hinge system to facilitate smooth rotation.

“The cavity defining element can define one or more cavities
that can contain a fluid 908. The cavity defining element can
be any type of flexible material, such as various polymers,
that is impermeable to fluids (seals fluids within the cavity).
The fluid can be any type of gas or liquid. In the illustrated
implementation, the fluid is a semi-viscous fluid that moves
slowly within the cavity at operating temperatures of the
device. For example, the fluid could be an oil, such as
vegetable oil, among other fluids,” the Redmond firm noted.

For the time being, addressing durability concerns of foldable
smartphones remain an unachieved challenge, though that will
seemingly change soon, probably with Microsoft’s Surface

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