Vivo’s APEX concept phone was one of the showstoppers at this year’s MWC. The device not only sported an on-screen fingerprint sensor but it also came with few other novelties.
In order to accommodate the camera, Vivo has used what seems to be a motorized mechanism. The front camera will rise out of the smartphone body in a matter of 0.8 seconds and then retracts back after use. This arrangement has also helped Vivo ditch the notorious front notch that houses the camera and the other sensors.
All was well until now, Andy Rubin, the head honcho of the Essential phone seems to have been granted a similar patent in 2017. Andy Rubin himself revealed the patent application as part of a query by a user. A quick look at the patent tells you that the patent was filed in the U.S in May 2016 by Essential Products. Titled “Apparatus and method to maximize the display area of a mobile device.” Subsequently, the patent was granted to Essential in August 2017.
In other words, the patent simply reiterates the features that were shown off by Vivo. We are not sure whether or not this might spark off a patent war. However, it is very likely that Essential might end up using the new design on its upcoming phones. Perhaps, this is the very reason that Andy Rubin went public about the patent that was granted to Essential Products.
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) March 3, 2018
That being said, the patent also mentions how a mobile camera can be integrated as a camera icon. This is achieved by integrating the camera into the display screen of the mobile device, and meanwhile, the real estate of the screen can be increased considerably. It is not unusual for the brands to file patents for concepts or designs that may never see the light of the day. However, with the ongoing battle among the manufacturers, a technology like this will certainly give an edge and at the least is an avenue that is worth exploring.