Microsoft Working on Possible 3-Display Surface Smartphone Reveals Patent

In a new Microsoft patent application titled “Multi-Panel Device” published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the company has detailed the possibility of a 3-Display Panel version of their Surface smartphone (via Patently Apple).

Surface 3 panel

As illustrated in the figure above, the first display panel is connected to the second display panel via a hinge, whereas the second display panel is connected to the third one by a second hinge.

The first and third display panels may pivot, such that the three display panels are stacked on top of each other in order to reduce an overall form factor of the multi-panel display device.

Multi-panel display devices may be useful in a variety of different scenarios. For example, multiple software application windows may be visually presented on separate display panels at the same time. Multi-panel display devices may use a hinge to allow for the display panels to fold in different directions. Such foldability allows multi-panel display devices to have a larger total display area relative to a similarly-portable single display device.

The patent was filed by Microsoft three months prior to the original Surface Duo launch.