Microsoft is working on adding more orientation features for foldable devices


A new patent application from Microsoft details how a foldable phone could use a hardware-based orientation-specific actuator to control its functionality. The patent titled “Orientation Specific Control” which was filed by Microsoft in 2018 has been published by USPTO on July 18, 2019.


The patent explains in detail about a orientation-specific actuator which offers a certain functionality related to first orientation of the computing device and certain functionality related to second orientation of the computing device and so on and so forth.


The patent claims –

“A device, comprising: a first portion and a second portion rotatably secured via a hinge assembly such that the device is in a closed orientation where inner surfaces of the first and second portions overlay one another and

such that the device is in an opened orientation where the first portion and the second portion are rotated such that the inner surfaces are apart; and,

an orientation specific actuator positioned on the first portion at a first stage corresponding to a more proud position with the device in the closed orientation and

a second stage corresponding to a less proud position with the device in the opened orientation,

the orientation specific actuator having a first stroke associated with a first functionality and

a second stroke associated with a second functionality,

the first and second strokes being accessible with the device in the closed orientation and

the second stroke being accessible with the device in the opened orientation.

The emphasis is on a multi-function button of the device which can offer a certain action in one orientation such as powering off the device and can offer a different action in a second orientation such as camera click etc. The possibilities are endless and the patent only emphasizes how a foldable device can offer multi functionality actions.


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