Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro glacier blue pop up selfie camera

Update: We have clarified the source of this patent discovery. The changes are reflected in the article below.


As manufacturers continue pushing their handsets’ displays to the edges of their devices, OEMs are looking for new and creative ways to retain selfie cameras. There are several solutions available today, including pop-up and flip-up cameras, but as time goes on, we will likely see companies take advantage of under-display camera tech. Interestingly, a newly leaked patent reveals Xiaomi could have yet another solution for this selfie camera conundrum, and it’s kind of crazy.

TigerMobiles first spotted this patent after it went through China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) (h/t 91mobiles). Unlike the vertically flipping cameras we see today, the patent renders reveal what looks like a horizontally twisting mechanism. Check them out:

What’s particularly interesting about this solution is that the panel separates into two pieces to allow the twisting motion. We don’t know how this would affect the display quality, but the renders suggest it could still look like one cohesive panel.

The renders also suggest the display will intelligently adapt to when the user twists the camera around, shifting the visible content downward. This would be a necessary inclusion since the content would be cut off otherwise.

Read also: Crazy idea: Why don’t we scrap selfie cameras completely?

It’s too early to tell how durable this mechanism would be. Usually, the more moving parts a device has, the more susceptible to damage it is. That’s partially why we think under-display cameras will likely become the norm in the near future. Sure, this patent looks interesting, but we don’t expect to see mass adoption on future handsets (if we see it at all).

What do you think about this Xiaomi selfie camera patent? Would you like to see it on future smartphones, or are you hedging your bets on under-display camera technology?

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