Foldable screens have enabled some crazy phone and PC designs in recent years. As bendy tech continues to trend, Microsoft wants to bring the fold to the wireless mouse. According to an international patent discovered by German tech site WindowsUnited, Microsoft is exploring the idea of a “foldable mouse.”
The patent is listed on PatentScope, a service of the World Intellection Property Organization that provides a searchable database of international patent applications. Microsoft’s patent was published Thursday and filed in March. It describes a mouse similar to the current Microsoft Arc wireless mouse, but with the ability to be flatter and more convenient to carry.
Here’s how Microsoft describes the peripheral:
There is provided a foldable computer mouse comprising a deformable body configurable to be formed into a first extended configuration useful for receiving input for controlling a computer device and a second folded configuration in which a first portion of the deformable body is folded over a second part of the deformable body.
Microsoft’s illustrations give a good idea of what the company has in mind.
The patent also points to the use of an “extensible shell” on top of the mouse.
The shell would sit on top of the “deformable body,” as Microsoft calls it.
According to the patent, the mouse could contain a motion tracker to detect movement. The patent refers to an internal component “configured to wirelessly communicate tactile input and motion tracking data to the computing device.” Some Microsoft Arc mice have added a haptic scroll strip to make up for the lack of a physical scroll wheel.
So what point does a bendable mouse have? According to Microsoft, today’s mice are often “too bulky or unwieldy to carry around with a portable computing device.” Even small mice intended for travel tend to “have no ergonomic design and can be uncomfortable to use,” the Microsoft patent reads.
As with any patent, there’s no guarantee that Microsoft’s foldable mouse will ever see the light of day. We’ve reached out to Microsoft, who told us it won’t comment on future product roadmaps. But we wouldn’t pass up on Microsoft to make a foldable mouse, because it already does.
The current Arc mouse can go from curved to flat, but it won’t bend in half. The design has been around since the Arc Touch mouse of 2010.
Going back even further, the original 2008 Arc mouse had a hinge that allowed the mouse to open and close.