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Vivo imagines an incredible detachable smartphone camera

A new patent signed Vivo details an astonishing photo module. It is not only expandable, but can also turn on itself and be detached from the smartphone to be used independently.

How important in these times of influencers and videoconferences, the selfie sensor remains an absolute necessity on our smartphones, even if it prevents its screen from fully embracing the borderless trend.

That’s why, when it comes to imagining ways to hide the front camera of their smartphones, manufacturers have no shortage of ideas. Most try to minimize it as much as possible, opting for the teardrop notch or the punch. Others imagine more advanced devices, such as motorized or rotating photo modules. Vivo is one of them, but arrives with an even more amazing concept: a motorized and… detachable module.

Vivo brevet
Credit: Vivo / LetsGoDigital

In reality, the idea is not really new. Vivo had already presented a smartphone concept sporting a detachable photo module in October 2020. The innovation had even enabled the brand to win a Red Dot Design Award, an international product design prize awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. Before that, in 2018, the firm even launched the first full-screen smartphone with an expandable selfie camera, the I live NEX. Except this time, this detachable photo module has drastically evolved, so much so that it would be ready for commercial use. The patent, filed in February this year, was indeed validated on September 2 by the International Intellectual Property Office.

The novelty is that the module – comprising two sensors – is no longer simply placed at the top of the smartphone. It is now housed in a recess located on the upper edge of the smartphone. Once out of its shelter, it can turn around and thus act as a front camera. Finally, it can be detached from its magnetic base to be used independently of the smartphone. There is even a small screen!

A resolutely versatile design, but it will be necessary to study closely if it ever emerges in an existing product. Several questions remain in effect, such as the way in which this small photo unit is powered, the type of connection that connects it to the smartphone and above all, the quality of its sensors.

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