News Column

Patent Issued for Extendable Connecting Link

July 23, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- A patent by the inventors Bohn, David D. (Fort Collins, CO); O'Brien, Paul M. (Sammamish, WA), filed on April 11, 2011, was published online on July 8, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8773849 is assigned to Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Mobile consumer devices, such as cell phones, media players, and portable computers are increasingly common, and many include dual displays and/or a display device that opens and closes relative to a handheld base of a device. For example, a mobile computer device can be hinged to open two display devices, each integrated into a foldable device housing. However, conventional hinge mechanisms can include relatively complex rotating hinges and hardware components to position the display screens for use, and may not allow for dual displays to open side-by-side to form one larger display. The conventional hinge mechanisms can also be obtrusive when configured between display devices and/or may take up space that would otherwise be utilized to implement a larger display device. Users typically want the smallest possible devices to conveniently carry in a pocket or purse, but also want devices with larger display surfaces."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "This Summary introduces simplified concepts of an extendable connecting link, and the concepts are further described below in the Detailed Description and/or shown in the Figures. This Summary should not be considered to describe essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor used to determine or limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.

"An extendable connecting link is described. In embodiments, an extendable connecting link includes a first link section that attaches in a first housing part of a device and a second link section that attaches in a second housing part of the device. The first and second link sections of the extendable connecting link interlock and slide-engage relative to each other. An interconnection channel routes an electrical interconnection between the first housing part and the second housing part of the device, where the interconnection channel is formed when the first and second link sections are slide-engaged. The electrical interconnection may include any one or combination of a flexible printed circuit, an electrical cable, an optical fiber, a coaxial cable, an antenna coaxial cable, or the flexible printed circuit bundled with any of the cables.

"The first and second link sections of the extendable connecting link also slide relative to each other to increase or decrease a length of the extendable connecting link. For example, the first and second link sections can slide relative to each other to increase a length of the extendable connecting link when the first and second housing parts of the device are opened from a closed position at zero degrees (0.degree.) to ninety degrees (90.degree.), and when the first and second housing parts of the device are closed from an open position at one-hundred and eighty degrees (180.degree.) back to ninety degrees (90.degree.). Additionally, the first and second link sections can slide relative to each other to decrease a length of the extendable connecting link when the first and second housing parts of the device are closed from ninety degrees (90.degree.) to the closed position at zero degrees (0.degree.), and when the first and second housing parts of the device are opened from ninety degrees (90.degree.) to the open position at one-hundred and eighty degrees (180.degree.).

"In other embodiments, the first and second housing parts of a device are movably coupled with a barrel hinge and with the first and second link sections of the extendable connecting link. A first cam is integrated with the first link section of the extendable connecting link, and a second cam is integrated with the second link section of the extendable connecting link. The first and second cams apply a torque to open and close the first and second housing parts of the device relative to each other. The first and second cams rotate to apply the torque as the first and second link sections of the extendable connecting link rotate relative to the first and second housing parts of the device. The first and second cams also apply a first detent when the first and second housing parts of the device are opened relative to each other, and apply a second detent when the first and second housing parts of the device are closed relative to each other.

"In other embodiments, a portable device includes a first housing part that is integrated with a display device, and a second housing part that is movably coupled to the first housing part. The first and second housing parts are configurable from a closed position to an open position at approximately one-hundred and eighty degrees (180.degree.). Optionally, the second housing part is integrated with an additional display device, and the two display devices are configurable adjacent each other as a surface display in the open position of the device. A hinge, such as a small barrel hinge, along with an extendable connecting link is operable to movably couple the first and second housing parts of the device. The extendable connecting link includes the first and second link sections that slide relative to each other to increase or decrease a length of the extendable connecting link."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Bohn, David D.; O'Brien, Paul M.. Extendable Connecting Link. U.S. Patent Number 8773849, filed April 11, 2011, and published online on July 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8773849.PN.&OS=PN/8773849RS=PN/8773849

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Microsoft Corporation.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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