Essential owns patent on a pop-up selfie camera similar to the one on the Vivo Apex concept

Essential owns patent on a pop-up selfie camera similar to the one on the Vivo Apex concept
The other day, we told you about the Vivo Apex concept phone. With a tap anywhere on the bottom of the screen activating the in-display fingerprint scanner, and audio coming out of the screen, the near bezel-less display leaves another quandary for the manufacturer; with bezels this thin, where does Vivo put the front-facing camera? The proof-of-concept OG Xiaomi Mi Mix, which was the blueprint that many of today's bezel-less handsets followed, had its front-facing camera located in the bottom bezel. That was repeated in the Mi Mix 2. The Mi Mix 2s plans on putting the front-facing camera in the upper corner of the right screen as a mini-notch.

But Vivo has a better, notch-less plan. The Apex is equipped with a pop-up camera. You might be thinking to yourself that Vivo really came up with a great idea. However, a tweet from Essential's Andy Rubin (yes, the man considered to be Android's papa) revealed that a patent for a pop-up selfie snapper is owned by Essential. The patent was filed in May 2016 under the name "Apparatus and method to maximize the display area of a mobile device."

Images included with the patent application show one version of the camera popping up from the top of the phone similar to the Vivo Apex. In a variation, the camera was placed in the corner and doubles as the button users would press to activate the snapper.

Since the Apex is just a concept, it wouldn't appear that Vivo needs to license the pop-up camera from Essential. But when Vivo is ready to mass produce the phone for consumers, it would seem a conversation with Essential might be required first.

source: @Arubin via MSPoweruser



1. yobolegend

Posts: 53; Member since: Sep 14, 2016

Nice idea

2. gamehead unregistered

I love the Vivo Apex's design. Nearly no bezels, pop out camera for privacy and an on screen fingerprint reader.

23. youssef44

Posts: 547; Member since: Apr 29, 2014

yeah... really fantastic design

3. Bondurant

Posts: 781; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Vivo aka One plus once again with a rip off.

6. TheOracle1

Posts: 2264; Member since: May 04, 2015

Really? Xiaomi have had a similar Patent since 2015. Are Essential now ripping off Xiaomi too? Dumb statement buddy.

22. Subie

Posts: 2364; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Is it a US patent that Xiaomi has? I doubt it. Rubin was just showing that they have the same idea as Vivo, and Essential has a US patent to back it...

24. TheOracle1

Posts: 2264; Member since: May 04, 2015

That wasn't what I was replying to. The guy in post 3 was stating that Vivo were stealing from Essential. Essential may have a US patent but they certainly weren't the first to get a patent. I'd rather have a Chinese patent with 700 million potential users to sell to.

27. Subie

Posts: 2364; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Got it. Cheers.

4. amir1999 unregistered

Would be awesome if they add front firing dual speakers like the one on XZ2

20. zenun12

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 31, 2016

Or they could beat Sony in using surface vibration to create sound using actuators just like the one in the Bravia OLED A1

5. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Anyone can came up with this simple solution. Just because you patented it first others must pay you if they want to use this? Patent system are so dumb.

7. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Does this mean that essential 2 will have this hidden selfie cam? Cool.

8. yalokiy

Posts: 997; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Sharp was the one to introduce "bezel-less" phone trend much earlier than mi mix did. Regarding pop-up camera, I think the top speaker could pop out together with the camera. That's a better solution than original mi mix had.

9. monoke

Posts: 1162; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Man I hope this doesn't prevent Vivo from putting this product into production cuz I don't really see any other OEM having the balls to do this for another 2 years. .. They're too busy copying the rediculous NOTCH

12. lamzaza

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

if vivo is going to the "USofA" China have other systems

13. lbblock

Posts: 34; Member since: Apr 20, 2015

This kind of mechanism does not save space. Instead it uses up more space within the unit and introduces new reliability issues. It used to be that the Japanese were obsessed about this kind of gimmick until Apple came around and put them right -- meaning in the current state of cost-quality balance, it's better to just make everything fixed and use software sleight of hands instead. That hasn't changed and if anything has worsened - true reliability and innovation have been harder to come by because humanity no longer respects the importance of hardware quality like we used to in the decades prior. If phone manufacturers are telling us with a str8 face that they can't find room for a headphone jack, how do they make room for this? If they do this they'd be admitting they were lying about the jack.

16. cmdacos

Posts: 4207; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Removing the 3.5 jack is not about saving space, it's about courage to move the industry to wireless audio. /S

19. lyndon420

Posts: 6790; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I like this idea. I'd prefer it if the front and rear camera were mounted to this thing...would be a good way to preserve some privacy and prevent others from hacking our cameras.

21. pecapello

Posts: 106; Member since: Feb 19, 2015

People are going to brake it so quickly


Posts: 416; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Essential 2?

26. Sparkxster

Posts: 1228; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

If Essential 2 looks like that I will give it serious consideration.

29. harigrg33

Posts: 188; Member since: May 20, 2013

I thought in china anyone can copy anyone's ideas and this so called patent rights is not needed.

31. frozz

Posts: 32; Member since: Jul 10, 2017

no thank you good bye have a nice day. more moving parts more maintenance more cost down the road (this exclude those who change phone every 6 mths or a year). i rather the current design thanks.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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