Microsoft has recently filed patents for a Flat-Slider Phone, Form Factor and a Multi-Touch Gaming Mice. The patents themselves are not as plain as they sound; the details behind them look rather interesting.
First there is the Flat-Slider Phone; while is looks like a plain phone the schematics are actually pretty unique. The patent filed for the Slider-Phone is more for the sliding mechanism itself, which seems to make the screen and the keyboard positioned mostly flushed with one another; as you can see from the pictures below.
The pictures show that the idea to create a comfortable typing method, a solution to the common problem of having to type with a sunken keyboard. The main complaint is the added hinges to the side which might add on weight and decrease the sturdiness of the phone itself. The second design looks to be more promising though.
The second patent is clearly adds onto the Kinect with the theory of determining the potential space for gestures and tracking movement within a sort of cone space. It’s a pretty interesting idea and it’s great to see Microsoft improving an already powerful device. The picture below looks as though the user can control the device in the same aspect as John Underkoffler’s vision of the future UI.
The last patent is the most interesting out of them all; the patent is a method of interacting with games via multi-touch mice. The surprising idea is how it was passed, with games being mostly software; there must have been hundreds of patents regarding the use of interaction software and multi-touch surfaces.