A Microsoft patent seeks to remedy the ever-present issue of sub-par laptop speakers by integrating full-size drivers on Surface kickstands. In the document, the triangular space left between the tablet body and stand serves as a resonant box, which would amplify audio further.
The back-facing speaker could be an ideal solution for parties, social gatherings, and just blasting music throughout the house. The resonant box or subwoofer enclosure would be closed off with a rubber seal on each side of the kickstand to prevent movement and create a strong seal with the surface it’s placed on.
This would combine with a software solution to dynamically adjust the audio output of the device. Essentially, the PC could automatically pass audio through the dedicated speaker when the kickstand is open, but use in-built speakers when closed. Naturally, there would also be adjustments to audio settings to suit the new environment.
Generally, this a patent fans can file under “cool, but unlikely”. Though there are cases such functionality would be useful, it’s quite a radical kickstand design change that’s likely to come with its own annoyances such as avoiding damage to the sidewall and additional weight.
Admittedly, though, Microsoft says micro speakers could be used in the place of a traditional one, or a piezo-electric. Both are likely to save on weight and thickness. Whatever the case, this is proof the company is thinking outside of the box and looking to solve long-standing issues.
You can read the full patent yourself via FPO.