Microsoft has been prototyping portable speakers and microphones that can improve meetings, and it looks like we’re about to see a final product. A new patent listing made public today, and spotted by Windows United, shows off a portable speaker that looks similar in size and design to Google’s Home Mini. Microsoft even references Google’s device in the patent filing, but little else is revealed about the portable speaker.
One of the inventors, Malek Chalabi, is a principle design manager for Microsoft Teams devices, suggesting that this portable speaker will be used for meeting rooms. Microsoft first showed off an impressive meeting room of the future back at Build last year, and the company has prototype devices that improve meetings in its labs. Another inventor listed in the patent is Dustin Brown, who leads “industrial design efforts to create and prototype forward-looking hardware and experiences” for Microsoft’s envisioning labs.
The portable speaker itself appears to have a fabric wrapped around the top, alongside volume buttons and the ability to make, receive, and mute calls. That further suggests this is related to Microsoft Teams and meeting rooms, but it’s not clear whether this particular device will be Surface-branded. The device also appears to have a removable base, perhaps to allow it to charge and be positioned around a meeting room.
Microsoft is holding a Surface hardware event in New York City on October 2nd, and we may well see this particular device next month. Current rumors suggest that Microsoft will launch an AMD-powered Surface Laptop, an ARM-based Surface, and a new Surface Pro with USB-C.
Microsoft may also publicly tease its new dual-screen device at its October event, codenamed “Centaurus.” The company has been working on Centaurus for more than two years, and it’s designed to be the hero device for a wave of new dual-screen tablet / laptop hybrids that will be powered by Windows Core OS, also known as Windows Lite.