Office Labs showed Microsoft’s vision for the future, translucent gadgets without tactile buttons and dynamic interfaces. Office Labs GM Chris Pratley then demoed one of the technologies shown in the video.

In a recent patent application Microsoft has applied to patent a device (remote) with dynamic controls depending on which side is facing up.  This is done based on which side the effect of gravity is observed.

If side A is facing up (and side B is facing down) side A illuminates with control options while side B is inactive and if side B faces up, it illuminates with options while side A remains inactive.

Here are the images from the patent application:

dual sided dynamic screen remote control

  • Fig. 2 shows side A displays control button while side B is inactive.
  • Fig. 5 shows a numeric keypad on side B while side A is inactive.

One remote with device specific interface buttons for multiple devices, pretty cool, I say! Pressure sensitive mice, futuristic device charging pads, polarity-indifferent battery loading… a lot of fun stuff happens at Microsoft.