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Xiaomi patents the twist-cam/foldable phone hybrid

The "Xiaomi twist camera foldable phone". Source: LetsGoDigital
The "Xiaomi twist camera foldable phone". Source: LetsGoDigital
Xiaomi has already claimed a phone with a twistable camera as intellectual property. Now, it has combined this design with that of a clamshell foldable. As before, it allows the user to take selfies with the device's main shooters at will.

Previously, Xiaomi filed a patent that is a solution to the apparent problem of using a high-end multi-camera array for the duties normally carried out by a front-facing sensor. It consisted of a module that could twist relative to the main body of the phone in question. Now, the OEM has applied more or less the same concept to state-of-the-art display technology.

The result is a phone design that looks and (theoretically) functions like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or Motorola Razr 2020, but with this twist-cam attached to the top of it. However, it seems not to directly concern selfie-taking this time: it has quad cameras on its 'front' (the same side as the flexible display) and a single cameras on the 'back'.

Unlike the earlier work, this Xiaomi module can swivel through 270 degrees. Therefore, the phone may be used to capture footage to either side without causing the user the bother of turning in the necessary direction.

This patent was filed with the Chinese national intellectual property office (CNIPA) in November 2019; therefore, it may be quite a while before it could be realized in a real-world phone. Nevertheless, it could be useful IP to have in a future where OEMs get to the point at which clamshell foldables get common enough that they need distinctive selling points.

More renders of Xiaomi's updated twist-cam. (Source: CNIPA via LetsGoDigital)
More renders of Xiaomi's updated twist-cam. (Source: CNIPA via LetsGoDigital)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 05 > Xiaomi patents the twist-cam/foldable phone hybrid
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-05-22 (Update: 2020-05-22)