Microsoft patents Windows Phone slider with detachable accessories

By Tom Warren, on 23rd Sep 11 1:36 pm with 19 Comments

Microsoft has filed a patent for a new slide-able Windows Phone with detachable accessories.

The patent was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in March, 2010 and was published for all to see on Thursday. Microsoft’s patent description describes the idea of a mobile device with companion second devices. “The second devices are releasably attachable to the first device and are interchangeable with each other,” says Microsoft in part of its patent application. The device appears to be able to act as a game controller, physical keyboard and remote control.

The Unwired View, who spotted the patent, notes that the secondary part of the device could also be used for additional batteries. The secondary accessories can be used independently of the original device to act as a second phone or remote etc. The device appears to be a Windows Phone as it features the prominent Windows flag and back button. The search button is missing but Microsoft filed the patent before Windows Phone 7 devices were available in retail markets.

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile slider devices were popular amongst business and power users. This type of device demonstrates the way that mobile devices are increasingly becoming an important part of every day life. The convergence of several different device types into one single device is inevitable and the software giant appears to be ready to offer such a solution in the future.

Windows Phone concept slider device

  • Matthew Williams

    You say ‘the software giant’ in almost all your posts. I read a comment a while back of someone mentioning this and now I always notice it!

    • Tom W

      Heh I don’t use it *that* much. They are a software giant so there’s nothing wrong with saying that :)

    • Guest

      Yeah Tom. Please randomly substitute the Redmond giant, the big M, the Cascadia Colossus, M$, etc.

      We have a limited attention span and get bored easily.

    • Not ice_fusion.

      Everything but “M$” plz, kthx :)

    • Guest

      that was for GDal and Arrowsmith.;-)

  • Anonymous

    Is that an extended battery pack?!?

    • Denis Jelec

      [0103] FIG. 19 shows a mobile device 1900 comprising a first device 1910 and multiple, interchangeable second devices 1920, 1930, 1940 and 1950. The first device 1910 comprises any of the first devices as disclosed herein and includes a first display 1960. The multiple second devices comprise any of the second devices disclosed herein, including second device 1920 comprising a display 1970, game controller 1930, battery 1940 and physical keyboard 1950. Additional second devices not shown in FIG. 19 can also be used with first device 1910. For example, additional second devices can include expansion storage devices (hard drive or solid state), solar panels for charging a battery of the first device 1910 or for directly powering the first device 1910, or medical sensors (surface thermometers, etc.). The game controller 1930 and keyboard 1950 can each comprise a speaker and a microphone to enable mobile phone handset operation. The first device 1910 can simultaneously communicate with one or more of the multiple second devices. 

    • Anonymous

      Oh, so 1970 is an extra display.  I thought it was film for the integrated film camera.

    • Guest

      No, Metro tiles lite ;-).

    • Anonymous

      That’s a shame.  It would have put all those 8MP Android phones in their place.

    • Michiel Papp

      sure looks like it :D #winning

  • Anonymous

    The really interesting part of this is that MS and not one of the HW partners patented this. MS could make a reference Chassis for an accessories ecosystem and allow All of their HW partners make custom accessories for each of their devices which would effectively build an accessory ecosystem the way Apple has for their various products.  The real advantage is that 3rd party manufacturers could start building accessories and add ons that could truly take advantage of this type of standardization.  Google can’t do this with the current way Android is setup and it would take alot to reign in their partners now that they are selling their devices.  I think the next 2 years are going to be very interesting in the mobile space.

    • Jinge

      I really do like the concept! And as you say, the fact that it is MS controling the standard of its hardware ecosystem is great!
      They just need to do the same with multimedia output to spread awesome mobiles on an awesome ecosystem! 
      That for sure would help to get great sales.
      That particular pattent reminds me the Nintendo new controller Wii U, but with much more potential.

  • Anonymous

    This could be a really awesome concept.  It’s not like battery, keyboard, or game pad technology are evolving by leaps and bounds.  So if this were to be a standard that OEM’s could implement on some of their phones, then you could buy one of these accessories and plop it in your next 2 or 3 phone iterations no matter the OEM.  Of coarse implementing the standard should be optional for OEM’s so that they can still innovate on their own designs and release ultra slim phones or what not.

  • Guest

    XboxPhone? ;-)

  • oolong2

    OMG this was exactly my idea…  LOL I was totally on the verge of patenting it last year.

    Oh well  :-)

  • Anonymous

    Awesome !!!

  • Guest

    All MS needs to do now is combine this patent with their sliding mechanism patent (2011019575), and have their OEMs produce phones that are different than Apple’s and Google’s.

  • Vasu

    This is totally amazing and new