More and more patents seem to suggest that the Surface Phone is not just the result of our imagination but actually a real thing, and new information that was discovered today provides us with a closer look at one of the key parts of such a device.

Twitter user @h0x0d came across four different patents (1, 2, 3, 4) that describe a so-called “live hinge” whose purpose would be to power multiple form factors of a new mobile device.

The four patents, namely “Hinge device with living hinge,” “Hinge with free-stop function,” “Hinge device with snap open lock,” and “Hinge mechanism” describe as anyone probably figured out by now an innovative hinge system that Microsoft has been working on for what appears to be a device with foldable screens.

Foldable screens and a revolutionary hinge

The idea behind this project is the following: Microsoft wants to build a mobile device that features two different foldable displays connected by the hinge detailed in the patents. Thanks to its design, the hinge would allow the device to get a new form factor depending on the position of the screens, like tablet when folded flat.

Judging from the patents, the live hinge would support up to 360 degrees rotation, so technically, the device should also be able to run with both screens active on each side.

The abstract section of one of the four patents provide us with a closer look at how the live hinge could work:

“Technologies are described for a hinge mechanism coupled to at least a dual-display device wherein the displays can rotate with respect to each other through 360 degrees. The hinge mechanism has at least one flexible connection member that follows a generally S-shaped path when the displays are in a tablet position.”

Obviously, patents are by no means confirmation that a new device is on its way, but in the last few months, all the findings seem to be pointing in the same direction: a Microsoft mobile device with foldable screens is on its way. Some say it could launch as soon as late 2018 with Windows Polaris.

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