Foldable devices with dual displays could have a significant role in the future of computing, as not only Microsoft but also other electronics giants have been working on ways to bring the concept to real-life products.
What's not as common are devices with three displays, but a new Microsoft patent shows off the possibility, and the display is not in what might be considered a typical position as it's located on the device's hinge. For each figure below, the third display area is identified by the numbers ending in 06 and it's mounted on the hinge, identified by numbers ending in 08.
The patent indicates that the device would initially determine the state of the hinge located between the two main display areas, implying that it would be able to know when it's fully folded, fully open or open at an angle. Then, based on the position of the hinge (and, therefore, of the two main displays), the third display region would display relevant information, which could relate directly to either - or both - of the larger displays.
A second example provided relates to the audio output of the device, where the user could interact with the third display area to switch from audio from an application displayed on the first display region to a different application on the second display region.
The patent also includes a variety of examples as to how the hinge and the display mounted on it could be executed, including a foldable display or a display that splits into two or even three parts when the device is folded, as seen in figures 7, 8, and 9.
As always, it's important to note that patents don't always turn into real products, but there's definitely a chance that Microsoft will make such a device come to fruition.