Forget bendy screens—Microsoft patents “foldable mouse”

Foldable screens have allowed for some wacky cellphone and PC designs over the previous few years. As flexible tech continues to development, Microsoft desires to deliver the fold to the wi-fi mouse. Based on a world patent noticed by German tech website WindowsUnited, Microsoft is exploring the concept of a “foldable mouse.”

The patent is listed on PatentScope, a service from the World Intellection Property Organization that gives a searchable database of worldwide patent purposes. Microsoft’s patent was printed on Thursday and filed in March. It describes a mouse that appears just like immediately’s Microsoft Arc wi-fi mouse however with the flexibility to grow to be flatter and straightforward to hold.

This is how Microsoft describes the peripheral:

A foldable pc mouse is offered that features a deformable physique configurable to be fashioned into a primary expanded configuration usable for receiving inputs for controlling a computing gadget and a second folded configuration by which a primary portion of the deformable physique is folded over a second portion of the deformable physique.

Microsoft’s illustrations present a good suggestion of what the corporate has in thoughts.

An example of a foldable mouse in Microsoft's patent.
Enlarge / An instance of a foldable mouse in Microsoft’s patent.

The patent additionally factors to using an “expandable shell” on high of the mouse.

Expandable shell.
Enlarge / Expandable shell.

The shell would sit on high of the “deformable physique,” as Microsoft calls it.

Foldable mouse with expandable shell on top.
Enlarge / Foldable mouse with expandable shell on high.

Based on the patent, the mouse may embody a movement tracker to detect motion. The patent factors to an inside part “configured to wirelessly talk tactile enter and movement monitoring information to the computing gadget.” A few of Microsoft’s Arc mice have included a haptic scroll strip to make up for the shortage of a bodily scroll wheel.

The patent points to haptic feedback and an inductive charging coil as possible features.
Enlarge / The patent factors to haptic suggestions and an inductive charging coil as doable options.

So what level does a flexible mouse serve? Based on Microsoft, immediately’s mice are incessantly “too cumbersome or inconvenient to hold round with a transportable computing gadget.” Even small mice meant for journey are inclined to “lack an ergonomic design and could also be uncomfortable to make use of,” Microsoft’s patent reads.

As with every patent, there isn’t any assure that Microsoft’s foldable mouse will ever see the sunshine of day. We reached out to Microsoft, who instructed us it doesn’t touch upon future product roadmaps. However we would not put it previous Microsoft to make a foldable mouse—as a result of it form of has already.

Right now’s Arc mouse can go from curved to flat, however it would not bend in half. The design has been round since 2010’s Arc Touch mouse.

Today's Arc is flexible in its own right.
Enlarge / Right now’s Arc is versatile in its personal proper.

Going again even additional, the unique Arc mouse from 2008 had a hinge that allowed the mouse to open and shut.

The original Microsoft Arc mouse had a metal hinge.
Enlarge / The unique Microsoft Arc mouse had a steel hinge.

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