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Microsoft patent reveals liquid-filled hinge to make better foldable devices

A patent filed by Microsoft reveals that the company has been working on a special kind of hinge filled with liquid that looks to solve some of the unique problems of foldable devices.

The new Microsoft patent, which was first spotted by Windows United, details a device with a foldable OLED display that comes with a hinge filled with liquid or gas.

The cavities around the foldable display are filled with liquid to help it bend into various positions, while also reducing the stress on the screens. This will also prevent debris from entering the hinge, to keep wear and tear to a minimum. Samsung ran into this problem with the early units of the Galaxy Fold, forcing several months of delay, and it is clear that Microsoft does not want to encounter the same issue through the liquid-filled hinges.

The hinge, however, might not be in development for a specific device, and possibly not even for a Microsoft product. This is because the patent was filed by the company’s technology licensing team, suggesting that other hardware makers may use the hinge in their own foldable devices in the future.

The spotted patent, which follows one found earlier this year for more durable foldable screens, does not guarantee that the technology will ever see the light of day. Even if it eventually finds its way into a product, it will most likely not be part of Microsoft’s upcoming event on October 2.

The Surface Pro 6, Surface Studio, and Surface Laptop were all unveiled in October events, so it is plausible that another Surface device will be the highlight in this year’s version of the annual gathering. It is widely expected that Microsoft will finally officially announce the long-rumored dual-screen device that has been codenamed Centaurus.

The dual-screen Centaurus is rumored to fall somewhere between the affordable Surface Go and the premium Surface Pro, but it remains to be seen whether it will also feature a foldable display. Reports also claim that the device will be powered by Windows Lite, a streamlined version of Windows 10 also known as Windows Core OS, which will place Centaurus in competition with Chromebooks and the iPad Pro.

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