Microsoft patents a stylus that can turn into an earpiece

Microsoft's Surface Pen has served the same general purpose for a few years now, but the firm had been looking at ways to change that. Now, a new patent titled "Flexible Carpenter's Stylus With Dockable Earpiece" (via On MSFT) envisions a stylus that can be bent to wrap around the user's ear, plus an earpiece that can be docked at the tip of the pen. The pen and earpiece have separate batteries, and the earpiece would be charged when docked to the pen.

The device would feature a flexible material along most of its length, but inside, there are a number of rigid parts, which should help make the pen feel more solid when it's used in a straight configuration. In addition to being able to remove the earpiece from the tip of the pen, there would also be a number of sensors that allow it to be used in a number of different scenarios.

For example, the pen can detect when it's being used in a straight configuration, and if the earpiece is docked, audio will be disabled on the earpiece. You can remove the earpiece from the pen and then use both devices at once, or you can have the earpiece docked into the pen and wrap the pen around your ear, which lets you use it while charging the earpiece's battery, disabling the pen itself.

Another possibility that's mentioned in the patent is the inclusion of a bone-conductive speaker in the pen itself, which would replace the earpiece's speaker when the pen is wrapped around your ear.

Of course, patents are filed all the time, and there's no telling if a product like this will ever see the light of day. Nonetheless, it would certainly be an interesting evolution of the Surface Pen if it ever happened.

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