The latest Xiaomi patent features a twisting selfie camera
Xiaomi’s past patents have been known to be adventurous, to say the least, and these ideas have resulted in some of the most interesting concept phones of the recent past. Thus, it’s not surprising to see the company tackle another idea that feels like the future.
As spotted by TigerMobiles, Xiaomi’s latest patent features a twist—literally. The top of the phone, including the display and back camera, will flip around horizontally to act as a selfie camera. Thus, a single camera module takes on the roles of both the back- and front-facing snappers, negating the need for a separate lens up front and ideally minimizing bezels.
This is a unique concept that’s similar but discrete from tangentially related concepts, like Asus’s Zenfone 6 or the Oppo N1 from 2013.
There's also Xiaomi’s own partial-fold patent, but this latest rotating design is evidently very different from the foldable displays that are becoming increasingly common, as the camera module could potentially rotate freely around the phone.
Asus's ZenFone 6 from last year was a successful take on a similar concept
Based on the included photographs, the phone’s software is likely to be able to adapt the aspect ratio in order to display everything correctly regardless of the camera’s orientation. Regardless, the design will face the problem of seamlessly integrating two separate displays into one in order to avoid the disjointed experience of many previous dual-display devices.
This latest creative venture is another potential path towards a bezel-free future. Ever-expanding screens have led to ubiquitous large notches, which have started making way for hole-punch designs, pop-up cameras, and the elusive under-display selfie snapper. While many or most of these ideas are far from fruition, Xiaomi’s newest patent opens a new direction in the race for smartphone innovation.