(Pocket-lint) – A Xiaomi patent has been granted for an under-display phone camera with a difference – it doubles as the rear camera by rotating.
The Chinese phone firm filed the patent in February 2020, with documentation then published in April this year. It describes a flip camera that rotates inside a future Xiaomi phone to work both for selfies and rear photography.
Found and subsequently rendered by LetsGoDigital, the concept is quite ingenious and could have several implications.
First, by using the same camera unit but rotate or flip it means you could technically utitlise the same sensor for taking pictures both front and rear. Other phones enable this too, but usually use a mechanical flipping system that is housed on the phone’s exterior.
The system used in Xiaomi’s patent seems to consist of a magnetic module, in order to reduce motorised parts.
The second main benefit of having an internal rotating camera (bar meaning the screen can remain punchhole free) is that it could theorectically use all the camera lenses from the rear. A laser autofocus is also mentioned.
Under-display cameras have so far been fairly underwhelming when it comes to picture quality – not least because there is a display between the outside world and the lens, even if it is transparent. Hopefully though, Xiaomi will be working on better implementation of zonal display fading along with the flip tech.
We’ll keep you informed if we hear any more.
Writing by Rik Henderson.