Microsoft wants to split your smartphone into two parts to take multitasking to a new level

The latest intriguing patent application comes from Microsoft. And apparently the company seems intent on splitting your next smartphone into two parts.

The two parts could work independently of each other, or could combine (physically too, via “magnetic attraction”) when needed. Each part would have a touchscreen, and while combined would function as your run of the mill smartphone.

But what happens when you’re on the phone with someone and that person gives you an address you need to go to? If Microsoft’s patent application ever becomes reality, you’d just split off the two parts, use one to continue the conversation (be it a voice call or a video call), and use the other part to search for the address and use mapping software to navigate to it.

The two parts would always communicate with each other, and they’d also know roughly how far the other one is, and what it’s being used for. So because one part knows, for example, that you’re using the other part to make a voice call, it could react accordingly.

This is just one use case for Microsoft’s envisioned tech. But there are many other possibilities. Microsoft thinks dragging and dropping stuff on a smartphone is harder than it should be nowdays, and this setup would make that easier.

Of course, you can think of this as just a way of doing two full screen things at the same time. That’s simply impossible with a smartphone nowdays, but it wouldn’t be in this case – since you literally get two screens. So, in brief, this is multitasking on a mobile device taken to a whole new level.

Sure, for this to actually work that combined device would probably be quite large. Then again, people seem pretty happy with the 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note, so that may not be a big issue.

It’s certainly an interesting concept, this. Yet it’s not even a patent yet. Becoming that will probably take a few years. As for actual availability in the marketplace, like always with patents and patent applications, it seems pretty far-fetched. Although this does have the potential to turn into a very compelling new form factor for smartphones or other mobile devices.


Author: Vlad Bobleanta

Share This Post On
  • William Wc Lau

    I estimate we’ll see these type of phones if you can call them that, around 2018 / 2019. I think MS is dead set beat on creating this if Windows Phone is to grow further and further advance foldable screens and maybe even transparent displays. Whom the OEM will be remains to be seen. The kinect gesture and transparent touch displays on PCs, Smartphones and Tablets which work via gestures and voice control may very well come to fruition by the end of this decade.

  • Find Mobile

    Splitting smartphone into two parts, what a nice concept. Why don’t split it into three, four or five? the other parts would be the camera, stereo speaker and qwerty keyboard.