Microsoft this week won a patent for a “curved edge display,” a potential harbinger of where the company’s device efforts are heading.
Details on what the curved display could be used for are scarce in the patent documents, and Microsoft declined to comment. But one image shows two curved displays joined together, and the documents describe a “continuous, essentially unbroken display area.”
Microsoft already has a display that can be combined with additional screens coming later this year, and that is the Surface Hub 2. In the second quarter of 2019, Microsoft will roll out Surface Hub 2S, which is something of a bridge that runs the current Hub software and is “future-proofed” for an upgrade to the next release, Surface Hub 2X.
Listed as the inventors on the curved display patent, which was first spotted online by developer WalkingCat, are Karlton Powell and John Lutian, members of Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group. Powell worked with the Surface team before moving to Applied Sciences, and his name appears on a number of patents related to a curved display as well as others related to cameras and biometric user identification.
Lutian was one of the first members of the Applied Sciences team, and he helps develop “display and tactile feedback product concepts for company’s device offerings,” per his LinkedIn profile.
The patent doesn’t say much about the size of device the display is made for. Curved edges have shown up in a number of smartphones in recent years, and recently the trend has started moving in the direction foldable devices.
Microsoft has been linked heavily to a foldable Surface device, aka Andromeda. Brad Sams reported in his new book, “Beneath a Surface” that the heavily rumored, foldable, dual-screen device, could be revealed this year.