Microsoft headquarters in France. Photo: MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

Microsoft has filed a patent for a new hinge design that would connect two screens on a smart phone, Business Insider reports.

In the patent filing, Microsoft says dual-display devices are the next step for smartphones because making screens and phones any larger "is not desirable" for consumers. Per Business Insider, the patent "doesn't mean Microsoft is building a device," but it demonstrates how the company is "looking at the future of smartphones."

  • Their design connects the screens using the "Hinge with Free-Stop Function," which allows the phone to lay flat with both screens unfolded.
  • In the patent filing, Microsoft says: "With a dual-display device, the mobile phone or tablet can include an open, expanded position where both displays are flush so that the user feels like there is a single integrated display. In a closed, condensed position, both displays are face-to-face so as to protect the displays. In a fully-open position, the dual displays can sit back-to-back so the user needs to flip the device to view the opposing display."

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Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected in a 5-3 decision Monday Wisconsin Democrats' request to reinstate an extension of the deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they're postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.

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The Senate voted 52-48 on Monday to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She is expected to be sworn in within hours.

Why it matters: President Trump and Senate Republicans have succeeded in confirming a third conservative justice in just four years, tilting the balance of the Supreme Court firmly to the right for perhaps a generation.