Drone-phone: Vivo patents a mobile device with a tiny removable UAV
Consumer-grade mobile videography is now firmly at the point where drones paired to smartphones for this pursuit are practically commonplace. Accordingly, it is now apparent that the OEM Vivo feels their use outshines on-device multi-sensor arrays, regardless of how many high-end brand-partnerships or in-built gimbals they have.
Despite the fact the company has both of these in its most recent Android flagships, it might now have concluded that phone cameras are going to get even more extreme in the future. This, then, may be why it has moved to stay at least one step ahead with its patented drone-phone.
This potential product - or, as Vivo currently calls it, a "device shell with flight camera", appears to be exactly what this sounds like: a smartphone chassis designed to accommodate its very own mini-drone. The advanced take on the in-built phablet accessory is even rated for dual cameras in its current form (published by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) on July 1, 2021): one presumably for main shooting, while the other might be for obstacle-avoidance and general environmental awareness.
This new leak might thus represent an exciting and innovative new product for the future. It might also reflect the depth and breadth of Vivo's ambitions (also currently slated to incorporate foldables, rollables and even perhaps its own in-house SoCs) for the same.
Then again, fitting an entire UAV into a phone might look downright improbable right now: most OEMs couldn't even keep the pop-up selfie-cam trend going, after all. On the other hand, it is less so given that the 102x85x13mm FHD 12MP AIR PIX is available to pre-order right now. Therefore, Vivo's idea to make selfies that much more effortless and wireless might have a place in the market soon enough.