As 2018 passes by, Microsoft re-attempt for new device category is becoming more, and more imminent. In a recent patent published by Microsoft, reveals a “magnetic block locking” mechanism which connects two parts of the rumored Surface Phone device. That said, it talks about how the hinges will work, and that’s not new. Microsoft has published many patents before which tries to solve the hinge problem in multiple ways.
In this patent Microsoft shares this info:
An electronic device or electronic device assembly may comprise a first portion and a second portion, a first magnet disposed inside the first portion and rotatable about a pivot axis with respect to the first portion, and a second magnet disposed inside the second portion and rotatable about a pivot axis with respect to the second portion.
The first and second magnet may be configured to rotate so that the first and second magnets magnetically engage each other when the distance between the first and second magnet is equal to or smaller than a first distance.
That said, here is the what we can make out of all these patents till now. Microsoft is trying to solve the hinge problem in a way that the next generation device with 2 parts can connect with each other smartly, and efficiently. Now, these devices aren’t going to be phones but somewhere between Phone and laptop with telephony advantage with more efficiency and modularity.
One should be able to connect a keyboard when serious typing is needed or a second screen when the bigger display is needed, or something else which could interact with a particular app. Possibilities are there, but a long way to go if there is a place for this type of form factor, and if consumers would love it.
Nevertheless, we are almost a year away from these sort of devices. More here