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Microsoft patent app could see the Surface Pen double as an earbud

The company has envisioned a flexible stylus with input buttons for controlling audio and digital presentations.

Surface Pen Patent

Microsoft has dreamed up a flexible version of the Surface Pen, according to a patent application. 

Screenshot by Abrar Al-Heeti/CNET

Microsoft may be planning to make future versions of its Surface Pen more functional -- and flexible. The tech giant is envisioning a stylus with an earpiece dock, an application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office last week shows. 

The earpiece would be fitted with a speaker, earpiece battery and wireless radio that would pair with a host device. The pen would be flexible so it could bend around a person's ear when it's being used as an earpiece. It'd also have one or more input buttons that could be used for functions like controlling audio volume, hitting pause or moving through slides in a presentation. 

The pen would have at least one flat edge, and could feature a button used for zooming in on a screen. 

The patent application was filed in December 2017, and was published June 13. Microsoft declined to comment.

First published June 18 at 3:20 p.m. PT.
Update, 4:33 p.m.: Adds that Microsoft declined to comment.