Microsoft show off Surface DisplayCover with extra E-Ink screen

surface eink coverMicrosoft’s researchers have created what could be the latest breakthrough to hit their Surface tablet computer thanks to an included e-ink screen.

You are probably familiar with the TypeCover currently available that brings a keyboard to the game. Well, this dual-screen variant of the company’s Surface tablet computer is brought to you by way of a prototype ‘DisplayCover’.

The YouTube video below was posted by Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group (basically, Microsoft’s R&D group for computer interfaces), and showcases the E-Ink screen that can be used as a Start Menu, an app launcher or as a secondary display that enhances an app’s functionality — for example, it can be used as a thumbnail browser for a photo-viewing app.

The E-Ink display sits above the keyboard at a resolution of 1280 x 305 pixels and was chosen no doubt as E-Ink is not really going to damage the battery life of the tablet.

surface displaycover 2Since the E Ink screen is multi-touch, it can also be used as a sort of an expanded trackpad — for example, you could use it for zooming in and out of a map, or as a writing surface for a stylus.

It certainly looks like the DisplayCover is quite far down the production path as the functionality is definitely there, and even the design doesn’t look too far from a finished product.

Saying that though, this is no guarantee that the case will hit the shelves. Then again, it does beg the question of what covers will appear with the Surface Pro 4.

Check it out below:
[youtube id=”OSFlvml0Sso”]