In late December, Microsoft filed a patent application for a Windows 10 docking station that appears to be designed for iPhone users.
Named ‘User Peripheral’, the patent was filed as recently as July 24 and published on December 26.
The patent abstract says the accessory “enables a voice or video call service that is conducted over a packet-based network from the user terminal using the communication client application of an event or state in the voice or video call service”.
The patent abstract doesn’t mention the iPhone specifically but all of the diagrams seem to indicate that this would involve an Apple-oriented device.
It seems to show an iPhone model with what appears to be a lightning connector. The user interface matches Apple’s iOS.
An iPhone dock could deliver similar calling functionality to Android without relying on Apple’s help.
The patent further indicates that “Other services may be provided by a communication client application which can be installed on the user terminal, using other telephony protocols, such as voice over IP (VoIP)” – a possible reference to Skype or Microsoft Teams. “This may be a proprietary protocol, owned or operated by an organization which is not the manufacturer of the user terminal, for example.”
The docking station also includes a button to answer an incoming call in Skype or Microsoft Teams environment. The patent indicates that while the docking station would charge the phone, a microphone on the dock would be used for input, while audio would transmit through the PC’s audio device.
An LED would signal whether the user is in a call or is receiving one.
Of course there is no guarantee that this device will make it to market. Microsoft usually files the patents and makes the decision to use the IP later (or not).
This is yet another indication that Microsoft continues to be aggressive in its mindset and arguably is now the world’s most exciting technology company.