It’s pretty weird how the modern camera phone design has become so uniform across brands. It makes sense given that it works well; having the main sensor sitting on the back panel, most often in the upper left corner of the device with a selfie camera on the front of the phone is both ergonomic and limits how intrusive the tech is on the eye. However, Oppo isn’t pleased with just using the designs that everyone’s used to. No, it intends to shake things up with a new patent that would see their smartphones ditch the visible camera altogether as it’s hidden inside the chassis of the device.
Now it’s just a patent so the jury is still out on whether Oppo will actually incorporate the design into its phones but the idea itself is too cool to not speculate on. A report coming out of LetsGoDigital states that the concept involves a dual-camera set up that slides into and out of the middle of the phone, popping out the top of the device. Yet that little bump you’re seeing isn’t the camera. Nope, the actual sensors are buried within the phone itself rather than facing out of the back panel. It doesn’t make sense until you realise that the sensors are actually pointing upwards.
What have they got Oppo their sleeve?
When you realise that the bump that’s being raised is a set of specially angled prisms, it all starts to fit together. One prism will point forward for selfies and the other will face backwards for standard images. The light of the image you want to capture will be bounced off the prism and into the sensor down below meaning that it should technically work like any normal camera just without the boisterous bump on the back of the phone. Oppo has suggested that this set up would work for a primary and an ultra-wide sensor which is really all you’d need.
While there’s not all that much that can be gleaned from the patent, we do know that the camera sensors may be able to move and shift, meaning it could be possible to take panorama shots without moving your phone which is just kinda neat. You could probably also snap pictures with both the front and back camera at the same time so you can document… something that would require that setup.
Again, this is just a patent so we have no idea if it’ll actually go to market but we really hope it does. Oppo has been doing some cool things lately. At CES the Chinese company unveiled a rolling phone that looked about as seamless as you could ask for.