Microsoft patent for detachable controllers for mobile devices surfaces online
The USPTO patent (direct link to the PDF file) with the number US 10,348,108 B2 might be dated July 9, 2019, but Microsoft applied for it way back in time — to be more specific, in late 2017. While it describes "a charging device for one or more input modules for a touch-screen device," its diagrams make it clear that the Redmond giant might be considering the launch of detachable controllers for use with smartphones and phablets.
According to Microsoft's description, the image above, "shows schematic diagrams of a system which comprises two removable input modules, which can be temporarily attached to a touchscreen device [in order to] provide input controls." In just a few words, we are now facing a detachable game controller.
Since Microsoft is planning to launch the xCloud game streaming service later this year, it would be natural for them to come up to an alternative to the touchscreen controls that many users despise when it comes to gaming. In addition to the game streaming service, Microsoft is also expected to come up with a low-cost streaming box for it.
These being said, we just need to wait for this patent to turn into reality before the end of 2019 — or simply realize that Microsoft decided to take a different approach and shelf the pieces of hardwar described in the patent.