Sony patent shows Xperia phone with pop-up speakers

Sony patent shows Xperia phone with pop-up speakers
We’ve seen several attempts at the pop-up smartphone camera in the past few years. The ultimate goal to offer corner-to-corner, almost bezel-less phone design led to a bunch of models with rectangular selfie camera pieces bizarrely rising out of the phone’s body. LetsGoDigital dug up a new patent from Sony filed back in 2018 and published just a few days ago, showing a different take on the pop-up idea. Two stereo speakers (and a selfie camera, of course) emerge symmetrically from the top and bottom of the phone. 

This design solution may have something to do with Sony’s OmniBalance philosophy that ruled Xperia phones a few years ago. The idea is quite cool, and both parts can act independently, depending on the scenario. When you need to snap a quick selfie, only the top part pops-up. During a call, both moving parts activate, and if you want to record audio, the bottom part extends (pops-down?). It’s a clever solution that allows for a cleaner design, as all the sensors, microphones, antennas, and speakers can be housed in these sliding parts.

The pop-up/down mechanism has drawbacks as well. Dust and dirt can enter the tiny gaps between various moving parts, damaging the system. The mechanism requires power, potentially draining the battery. The phone may turn out even more fragile due to the complexity of the mechanical system. Nevertheless, bringing such design to the market may turn things around for Sony and Xperia, and add some needed diversity to the stale smartphone design of late.

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