Fan Concept Brings Microsoft’s ‘Andromeda’ Patents to Life

Posted on December 18, 2017 by Mehedi Hassan in Hardware, Microsoft Surface, Mobile with 45 Comments

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding Microsoft’s foldable mobile device Andromeda lately. The first ever patent of the device showed up as early as January of this year, and three more patents of the device showed up this month.

All of these patents show off a device that seems to resemble Microsoft’s foldable device, but these are just patents, and it can be quite difficult to visualize exactly how the end result might look. Thankfully though, designer David Breyer came up with a new concept which brings Microsoft’s Andromeda patents to life. And it looks brilliant, just like every other tech concept, of course.

The concept takes inspiration from the latest Andromeda patents that Microsoft published only last week. The patent described a mobile device with two different surfaces (no pun intended) that will be connected together with the “self-regulating” hinge. It will have a couple of different viewing modes, including a complete flat mode where both the displays will be very close to each other in order to basically form one display with small bezels in between — at least that’s the plan.

Breyer’s brilliant work on the concept shows off exactly how Microsoft’s idea might look like in real life. The concept device seems to have a curved side which allows the device to actually bend and not look too bad when it’s in the flat view, but Breyer has also designed a feature similar to Samsung’s Edge Panel on its modern Galaxy flagships where notifications are displayed:

You can take a closer look at the concept device below:

If Microsoft’s Surface team manages to come up with a simialr looking device, the device would catch a lot of eyes. But of course, concepts are (mostly) mindblowingly beautiful, but the real deal probably wouldn’t look as good due to engineering limitations and other potential cost or manufacturing aspects. Still, it’s only a matter of time before we get to see the real deal which will hopefully look equally awesome.

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Comments (45)

45 responses to “Fan Concept Brings Microsoft’s ‘Andromeda’ Patents to Life”

  1. GT Tecolotecreek

    OMG, Will MS finally out do the notch???

    It's the butt crack down the middle!

    Can hardly wait to watch a movie with a butt crack center screen!

  2. Norman Foster

    Probably this might be launched in spring or autumn in 2018. alph.st/p44d0385

  3. Chris_Kez

    Before people go too far in a positive or negative direction, remember this is one fan's concept. Also remember, the world does not equal you.

  4. Roger Ramjet

    I hate to come off negative, but I see little point in this for this site. I know MSPU publishes stuff like this a lot, and fine, I accept that, but that's not what I am used to seeing here, and I do not think it adds value to the site's business.

    To me, it looks like an ad for the work of the artist, who sends to his contacts in the blogging world, who publish it as easy content to access. Just something working for the artist and the blogger. Microsoft the alleged maker, has zero to do with it, no control over it, absolutely adds nothing to any question as to whether Microsoft would do this or not. Just some guy who says I think Microsoft's maybe, maybe not product could look like this ...

    And yes that huge "butt crack" down the middle is pretty obvious flaw, and Microsoft would definitely not release it the way it looks here, showing that this is the work of an artist who does not understand the technological capabilities available to the maker of the product and their product standards. Half the point of the Surface group or some imaging or software gurus doing this work is to be able to make stuff like that almost disappear when you are looking at it from most angles or use cases. He is not briefed by any engineers or anything like that, just pulling patent pictures out in his basement and drawing on his Mac, to get his name out. Doesn't advance anything ...

    • Ugur

      In reply to Roger Ramjet:

      I see it as quite valuable, for the site, for the users of the site and maybe even for MS.

      If it was based on pure speculation, i'd agree, way less useful then.

      But in this case, the artist made something which quite closely mimics the patent skriblings.

      Will the actual device look quite different? Likely.

      But it is still useful for visualising the patent sketches better.

      And heck, based on the feedback MS may even tweak some things here and there.

      • Roger Ramjet

        In reply to Ugur:

        Companies like Microsoft can test their concepts in hundreds of different ways. They have thousands of employees, suppliers, partners, and others on NDA. Beyond that they have access to plenty of Jane Doe focus groups, they can pick these from any income group, profession, region, country, whatever. But when they do so, it is their own concept, the timing, and presentation, and any other factor which is on them, not something a third party over whom they have no control drew up, promoted for reasons of that third party's choosing, which Joe Blow internet readers then conflate with the company in various ways.

        Just read below to see how it actually is, rather than how it might be.

    • Jeffery Commaroto

      In reply to Roger Ramjet:

      I liked the post and found the designs interesting. Further I found it nice that the headline and article wasn’t written like link bait and came with sound qualifiers. I think it has a place here.

  5. Dan1986ist

    This concept looks like the handheld pcs that various OEMs like HP made back in the 90s that ran Windows CE. Again, just making an observation here.

  6. mmcpher

    Interesting and well done. It has a Surface-like look. Two batteries to run all that screen space? 6 or 7 inch screens? And could Andromeda track Samsung's S-Pen rather than the full-size Surface stylus? I like the flexibility which appears to include the option to view on only one screen like a regular large smartphone, or use both for reading or viewing. I wonder if there could be some projected wizardry to cover up the hinge-line? Brooke makes a good point about the unfortunate, dead-centeredness of the lines.

  7. IDCL

    I DO NOT SEE THE USEFULLNESS OF THE TENT POSITION OF THE DEVICE AND DO NOT LIKE THE ROUNDED CORNERS THAT ONLY MAKE YOU LOOSE SAPACE. OTHEWISE I CAN SEE HAW THIS WOULD BE USEFULL FOR WORK ( A PHONE HAS A TOO SMALL DIPLAY, A TABLET IS TOO BIG TO CARRY IN THE POCKET ) I DO HOPE FOR SOME PHABLET WITH A PEN THAT DOEN'T TAKE YOU FOR 1,000 $.AS FOR THE CRACK HOPEFULLY MS COMES WITH A VERY SMALL ONE FOT THIS DEVICE.

  8. Rob_Wade

    I don't anything beautiful, much less useful, in a device like that. Seriously. A fold up device with a big seam in the middle of the screen? And if thin is in, that device is morbidly obese. I'm sure people are going to beat down the door to be able to carry THAT monstrosity in their pocket.

    • Byron Adams

      In reply to Rob_Wade:
      That's because you see a big phone, I see a small PC.
      i have a phone with a foldover cover. Running multiple apps one on one screen and one on the other would be great. Last night I was doing split screen on Android. 1/2 screen was a book, 1/2 screen was OneNote. Switching between was terrible, split screen not much better.... because the 1/2 screens were too small.


  9. gazzatopdude

    Half a billion windows 10 users and a large wave of the business market using Windows, A world in financial decline with less money available to spend on high end devices such as the IPHONE X, Microsoft could capture a large chunk of the business market with the surface phone if businesses were to pre-order and show interest,

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to gazzatopdude:

      Most enterprises are dropping Windows Mobile - at least those who risked investing in it in the first place. We've replaced any WM phones we had with Android. I can't see the enterprise adopting yet another MS mobile device - whatever it may be - for fear of being thrown in at the deep end again and seeing MS fail once more.

  10. Mark999

    This kind of opening book style device has been imagined at least since Apple’s 1987 Knowledge Navigator. Maybe it just isn’t technically feasible and the market just isn’t there anyway.

  11. Bart

    It looks awesome, but I am not convinced there is a viable market for such a device. Though I am saying this based on absolutely nothing. I wouldn't be interested myself.

  12. Tony Barrett

    Ok. Simple response.


    Point.less

  13. cseafous

    Give me enough PWAs and I would trade my iPhone for this.

  14. Locust Infested Orchard Inc.

    With another super-duper article discussing the soon-to-be-released Microsoft pocket-able and/or handbag-able device that shall once and for all sound the death knell for Android and iPhone smartphones, I shall savour the ridiculous commentary that shall emanate from both the iSheeple and Gulaggle camps, in their vain attempt to preemptively belittle and mock a device that has yet to see the light of day.


    To all within the iSheeple and Gulaggle camps: Give it your best shot to once again deride this device. These comments of yours shall haunt you upon the release of this gorgeously highly functional device.


    To Mehedi Hassan: There's a typographical error in the first line of the final paragraph with the word "simialr".

  15. Dan Francis

    If the gap between the screens is that large then a 2 screen combination doesn't work because the gap is where the action is (the car in navigation, the crosshairs in games, etc). That gap would only work for 3 screens.

  16. Mark from CO

    Mehedi:


    Count me in on this, particularly if it has telephony and is able to run real applications when docked. Potentially, this is the one and only device I will need.


    Microsoft: please, please, please don't screw this up.


    Mark from CO

  17. rmlounsbury

    This device to me ticks the boxes for something that is a new form factor and something different and not a re-tread. This, of course, is what got the Surface Mini killed off because it didn't offer anything new over what was already on the market. What would also be exciting is if has Continuum in tow and perhaps the next generation Snapdragon processor.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to rmlounsbury: Unlike the Surface Laptop which was a radical departure from anything available /S Still a bit ticked about the Surface Mini fiasco. Will grant that had it shipped with Win RT as it likely would have, it would have been short lived. A 7-8" tablet with active pen support would have interested me though. Still does. 10S on such a device might actually make sense. Imagine it being able to run Photoshop, Visio, in a Continuum sort of way if docked to a big monitor.


      • rmlounsbury

        In reply to SvenJ: If I have my timelines correct the Surface Mini pre-dated the Continuum functionality in Windows by a good year or more. Which just adds to the Mini's lack of differentiation for a small tablet device vs. what was on the market already that had far more functionality.
        I don't disagree with your sentiment but I'd rather have it built into my mobile phone rather than a tablet. If I go the tablet route I might as well get a Surface Pro and that I suspect is the same conclusion Microsoft would have come to even if Continuum was available at the time the Surface Mini came out.
        Personally I've been experimenting with the Galaxy S8 + Dex Station to get a light duty Android desktop working and that works for a lot of basics. Of course, Dex is half-baked in a lot of ways but much of that is because many app developers either a.) don't have a tablet version of their apps or b.) aren't developing for a Dex like solution because only Samsung (and Hauwei as of late) offer this. For this idea to take off on the Android front Google probably needs to embrace it.
        Additionally, if Samsung released a lapdock similar to the Elite x3 Lap Dock for Dex a long with a wireless Dex connection that would make it even more functional. Of course, one of the problems with the Lap Dock was it's $599 price tag that came with it. I have to imagine that Samsung could take it's Chromebook Plus (or Pro) laptop and strip some of the guts not needed for a pure lap dock concept and get the price down to $200ish. Granted, your initial investment is steep with $100 for the Dex Station, say $200 for a lap dock, a monitor + keyboard + mouse if you don't already have them and then another $700 or so for the phone. But you would effectively have a single device that serves as your phone, mobile & desktop computing device for $1000 (and if you don't have monitor/keyboard/mouse add say $300 more in) which is no more than a mid-tier laptop. I'd rather have this than a 7" tablet and still have to have all these pieces.
        The final piece to this whole solution is getting a full Linux or Windows desktop into the mix which you can do thanks to Amazon's WorkSpaces service on AWS. I just started playing with this concept provisioning a base-level (free tier) Windows 10 desktop and installed the WorkStation client onto my S8. I'm excited to see how this turns out and how viable it is. The only downside is a decent spec'd WorkSpaces instance is going to be north of $35 a month for unlimited usage. But still I'd have the Android Dex based desktop/laptop interface for most functions and if I need more power or Windows based applications I can fire up WorkSpaces and connect to my AWS based Windows 10 virtual desktop.
        • rmlounsbury

          Also, what the what?! I did a quick Google search on using the Elite x3 Lap Dock with an S8 and Dex and apparently IT WORKS! I guess you can get a third party USB-C connector and it will connect to the x3 Lap Dock and run in full Dex Station mode and the battery in the x3 Lap Dock will charge the S8 as well.


          Of course, I've seen rumor that Samsung is blocking 3rd party Dex accessories in their Oreo update. But if they don't I'm totally getting an x3 if I can find one on the cheap somewhere. This is awesome.

  18. PincasX

    Does anyone else think it is kinda funny that the artist used one of the Mac OS desktop images to make this?

  19. Jorge Garcia

    I kind of see a real world use case for this, but it certainly isn't as a "pocket laptop". Were this device to A.) Run a totally mobile OS like iOS or Android AND B.) remain relatively small (5" screens on each side), it would indeed solve a problem I've noticed with some older folks. I know some people who have a really hard time thumb-typing on a smartphone because the keyboard is too small, even on larger devices. I tell them to just rotate the device 90 degrees to enlarge the keyboard, however no one actually wants to do that because you lose way too much of the on-screen content when you do rotate. So with this bi-fold design, you could indeed rotate the phone sideways for easier thumb-typing, while STILL seeing your content on the "other" display. So in that very limited sense, this design would work wonders for some people. IMO the AARP should be all over this as their next let's rip-off seniors mobile product. The problem with the drawings above though is that they show the device being used as a micro-tabletop/laptop PC, and the keyboard portion just doesn't work at all, at that scale. Amazing renders, though.

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