In order to stay on top of the competition in the tech industry, companies are encouraged to regularly come up with innovations. So far, the hottest trend in the smartphone market right now are folding displays. Currently, the top players in the segment are Samsung, Motorola, and Royole. While Microsoft's upcoming offerings can be considered as foldables, the dual-screen nature of the Surface Neo and Surface Duo is unique. Now, a newly published patent reveals an unexpected yet exciting tech.
While it was specifically noted to be for the aforementioned two devices, there is a possibility that the manufacturer will integrate this to the final retail version. So far, the working prototypes that have demonstrated since 2019 are still subject to improvements before these officially launch later this year. Unlike flexible display panels, the current setup sports a visible gap between each section of the two screens.
It appears that the solution being considered by Microsoft is to use an "edge screen" that occupies a space where the hinges interconnect. According to Windows Latest, the patent documents indicate that it would be dedicated to notifications and other context-related information that can be manually set by the user or automatically activated by a running program on the Surface device.
While most sources suggest that it might be for the Surface Duo or Surface Neo, there is a possibility that it might be for a new Surface model instead. Ever since the dual-screen units debuted last year, tech analysts and consumers wondered particularly about the Android smartphone.
Even though the hinge allows for a 360-degree movement, there is no way to show notifications when the two sections are closed with the displays inward. For comparison, the Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Flip, and 2020 Razr feature a secondary external display, while the Mate X and Mate Xs close with the screen facing outward.
The addition of the speculated "edge screen" will finally address this issue. A few months ago, there was a report that hinted at a "peek" function for the Surface Duo. This basically allows users to view their notifications shown on a small segment near the edge by partially opening the handset.