Microsoft Patent Reveals Modular Phone Design, Swappable Keyboard, Gamepad and More

Unwired View has uncovered a patent from Microsoft describing a modular phone design where a keyboard, gamepad, extended battery or other accessory could be swapped in to alter a phone’s capabilities.

The slider design features an open area where the keyboard would traditionally be found. That area can be filled with a module that provides a second display, additional battery, game control, or a standard keyboard. Furthermore, except for the battery module, these modules would be able to function without being plugged in, potentially providing control of a smartphone while it is docked at a TV or monitor.

Modular phone designs are not new, and accessory makers already use the dock connection on the iPhone to expand its capabilities. However, this patent is unique in that Microsoft does not build their own phone hardware. That could change, but for now, I imagine these and other hardware designs could be licensed out along with the Windows Phone OS to device makers, adding value to the software license.

Via Engadget

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at]


  1. I’m really liking this concept bc if you give ppl choices then ppl feel great about the device they have. I’m a gamer but gaming on a touch screen is not up to par yet & I don’t know how many times I’ve said man I love my phone but I just wish it had this in my case a game pad, but to be able to change hardware on a smartphone like this will definitely change the game

  2. I would like this in Android flavor please. A second video display module seems more gimmicky than useful. A 100GB+ portable HD module would be nicer.

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