Microsoft is announcing a $100 million round of funding to develop an ultra thin wallet that will fit inside a single foldable tablet.
The company is also bringing together top hardware manufacturers to work on a smart wallet that could be available for purchase in 2020, the company announced Thursday.
The funding will be used to create a thin, flexible device that could fit inside an iPad Mini and would be built in two phases: the first phase, which will focus on the design and construction of the device, and the second phase, that will build out the software and interface.
The first phase of the funding will focus solely on the development of the core hardware and software, which includes the user interface and the user experience.
The second phase will focus exclusively on the software, including security and user experience design and testing.
Microsoft says the company has secured funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as from the private equity firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and expects to have a device ready to market in 2020.
The product will work in conjunction with a user interface that is similar to that of the popular Samsung Note 7, which recently came under fire for causing health issues for users.
The Samsung Note7 caused an outbreak in China, and several other countries have also been affected by the device.
“With the Note7 and the Note8, we saw the rapid emergence of smartphones and tablets that are very thin and light, and we’re seeing a similar shift in the world,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.
“This is not a one-off problem, and it’s going to be a long-term trend.
We need to be aware of it and work on solutions that keep pace with it.”
Microsoft has already demonstrated its smart wallet at Mobile World Congress, which featured a thin-yet-powerful device that was able to withstand a 10,000-pound weight drop.
The firm is also working on a thin and flexible phone that will be able to hold up to 10,999 pounds.
A new version of its HoloLens augmented reality headset is also in the works.