Oppo wants to make selfie cameras move side-to-side on phones, files new design patent

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Source: LetsGoDigital

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Oppo's new patent shows a camera that slides sideways.
  • This camera can offer better stability in panorama shots.
  • This patent has been filed with WIPO for now but there is no clarity on its implementation.

In what could be another interesting workaround to achieve new milestones in mobile photography, Oppo has patented a new smartphone camera design that allows the camera to slide sideways above the display. The patent shows a camera inside a rail allowing it to go forth and back. Since the patent shows diagrams of what Oppo could be working on, LetsGoDigital went ahead to create concept material for the same, including the GIF that shows this camera design in action.

The camera module goes from one bezel to another, as seen in the GIF, making this design entirely new. The patent filed with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) carries a document of 33 pages that explain how this camera setup would work. To cut a long story short, the camera sensor will be fixed on a guide block that will relay between one end to another on the rail. A motor will make the camera move but only when the selfie camera mode is activated from the camera app on the phone.

The idea behind this setup is to allow the camera to shoot images from different angles and positions, something that Oppo can leverage to reach new levels in mobile photography. It is a little vague right now to go by this concept about this camera because when you click selfies, you normally use your hand that you can move in any direction you want. This reflex to get a good angle for a selfie is more practical than making the camera move, that too on a fixed line, which defeats the purpose of being free to move in any direction.

What I think could be the actual purpose of this camera design is to map faces a lot better than what conventional cameras do right now. A major part of using a phone's selfie camera involves facial scanning for authentication and various applications that take help of augmented reality, such as the app that lets you try out glasses right from within your app. With a sliding camera, it will be easier for the phone and the app to cover your face in order to create a 3D image without needing the user to move the phone in necessary directions.

Another use for this camera could be shooting a panorama. It is unusual to see selfie cameras being used for clicking a panorama because of the various restrictions in the implementation and utility. With a sliding camera, a panorama shot can be clicked a lot better than those users click with unsteady hands. It is not clear if the speed of this motor can be controlled, but if it could, it will offer several ways to click panorama shots. At slow speeds, this camera can shoot all details while a fast-moving camera will leave trails of lights in the scene. The portrait mode photos can also see improvements with this setup.

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