Surface Wireless Display Adapter hits FCC for tablet screen sharing

Microsoft is preparing a Wireless Display Adapter for Surface, an HDMI dongle that appears to be designed to help Surface tablet owners to expand their desktop to a nearby screen. Spotted crossing the FCC as the Surface Wireless Display Adapter (1628), specific details on the dongle are redacted thanks to Microsoft's confidentiality request, meaning the user manual and testing photos aren't available.

According to the FCC's test report, however, the adapter will include WiFi a/b/g/n with 2.4GHz and 5GHz support. It gets its 5V of power from the host equipment it's plugged into, unlike Google's Chromecast which demands an external power source.

Exactly in which way video streaming is supported is unclear, though given the Surface range of tablets supports Miracast it seems likely that will be Microsoft's format of choice. Miracast uses WiFi Direct for peer-to-peer screencasting, with some more recent monitors and TVs supporting it out of the box.

That's nowhere near commonplace, however, and so Microsoft's dongle would bridge that gap for legacy screens. The company does point out that it won't work to extend a Surface's screen to another computer, even if plugged into that computer's own HDMI port, and similarly there won't be drivers "for direct NB applications" either.

The confidentiality request expires at the start of August, which suggests a launch for the Surface Wireless Display Adapter sooner rather than later.

VIA Dave Zatz