OnePlus 11 Pro might get a crazy rotating camera

OnePlus 11 Pro might get a crazy rotating camera
OnePlus is not a stranger to crazy concept phones - some of you may remember the OnePlus Concept One. That model used an electrochromic glass that shifted its color to hide or reveal the camera on the back.

Now we have another crazy idea cooking up, as our friends at LetsGoDigital have unearthed yet another interesting patent filing. The Chinese manufacturer applied for a strange camera patent with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) back in 2020, and the patent was subsequently approved in June 2021.

Even though the patent is rather boringly titled “Camera module and electronic equipment,” it describes a camera system that can rotate at 180˚. You can check out the beautiful 3D renders based on the patent documents (thanks to Technizo Concept) below.

Potential applications of a rotating camera

The system uses magnets and a notch (not your regular Apple one, though) to turn the main camera around its axis. Apparently, this can be done in incremental steps as well as continuously.

The potential applications of such a technology are not immediately apparent, though. One might argue that a rotating camera is an unnecessary complication, when users could simply turn their phone around.

Furthermore, you can always rotate images and videos in post-production, and if you want to use the cool effect of everything spinning around its axis, you can do this with software algorithms.

Nevertheless, the patent exists, and OnePlus actually describes a special “rotating video recording mode” to go along with the new hardware. The system has one inherited practical application, though.

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When using magnets to move a camera around (or rotate it), you can also program the same system to act as an optical image stabilization system. That’s also detailed in the patent documents, although there are simpler and more efficient solutions to that particular problem.

The OnePlus 11 series connection

There’s a remote possibility that the OnePlus 11 series could bring this crazy patent to life in its Pro model variant. The documents were filed way back, giving OnePlus plenty of time to further develop the system and implement the rotating camera system in a mass-production model.

That being said, looking at the renders and the patent documents, it becomes clear that in order to implement this system, OnePlus would need to ditch other secondary and tertiary cameras on the back module.

Given that the potential benefits of a rotating camera system are questionable at best, we don’t think the company will sacrifice the flexibility of having separate ultrawide and telephoto lenses on the back of the OnePlus 11 Pro.

The OnePlus 11 official announcement is far into the future at this point (about one year away), so we shouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of this patent coming to fruition.

The OnePlus 10 series recently launched in China, and we have a nice explanatory piece regarding the OnePlus 10 Pro camera, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested in the brand and want to know what’s going on in the camera department.

What do you think about the rotating camera system? A gimmick, or a potential videography revolution?

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