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This smartphone maker is exploring multi-decker pop-up cameras

Taking pop-up cameras to the next level...literally.

Published onAugust 3, 2021

vivo smartphone multiple pop up camera patent
  • vivo is exploring a phone with multiple pop-up cameras that stack up one on top of the other.
  • A company patent describes the phone with a rear-facing pop-up module extends out in four steps.
  • The device also uses an under-display selfie shooter.

In the world of pop-up cameras, this is probably a first. Chinese vendor vivo is exploring a smartphone with not one but multiple cameras that pop out of the frame. What’s more? These multi-level pop-up shooters aren’t facing forward, like most selfie cameras. Instead, they face backward to enable rear camera functionality.

According to a vivo patent discovered by LetsGoDigital, the company is exploring a phone with a “super telephoto zoom pop-up camera.” The documentation suggests vivo wants to enhance the zoom range on this phone. It’s unclear how this unique camera placement will help with that, but the patent says it should enable “high multiple zoom.”

Based on other information in the patent filing, the multi-decker pop-up camera phone would include an under-display selfie snapper. This means you won’t see any physical cameras on the phone when you’re not shooting photos.

Meanwhile, the rear-facing pop-up module would extend in four steps, whereby each extension would reveal a camera sensor. The bottom-most sensor will be the default one that pops out and users can choose to extend the other sensors as and when they desire.

vivo smartphone superzoom camera patent

The patented vivo phone certainly looks futuristic and it would be interesting to see how the multiple pop-up cameras assist with telephoto imaging. However, the structure looks a bit fragile from what the concept images show and could have functional issues over long-term usage.

Nevertheless, let’s not get ahead of ourselves since the design is just in the patent application stage right now. vivo might or might not go ahead with such a camera system on an actual phone. That said, we have seen some of vivo’s previous patents come to life. For instance, the company’s gimbal image stabilization system first appeared in a patent and later made it to the vivo X60 Pro. If the company thinks that multiple pop-up cameras are the way to go, it’s a distinct possibility we might get a commercial vivo phone featuring the same.

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