Huawei has always been at the forefront of innovations especially with regards to cameras. While this isn’t exactly related to the cameras, it’s the region around it that Huawei wants to make interesting with the latest patent they have filed. We saw a camera ring around the rear cameras on the Mate 30 Pro last year and while that was just for the aesthetics, Huawei wants to make it more functional with the Mate 40.
What looks like a design template that’s similar to the back of the Mate 30 Pro from last year shows off a quad-camera arrangement in a circular style surrounded by a ring that has an integrated display. Huawei has patented this technology to integrate multiple functions on the camera ring, making it function like a secondary display that can serve multiple purposes.
First, the ring seems to be illuminating when the alarm goes off, maybe in a breathing effect. The ring can also act as a notification reminder just like the always-on display feature on a lot of smartphones. When you receive a message and the phone is flipped over and resting on the screen and you receive a message, a part of the message as well as the sender is displayed on the ring so that you can take a quick glance before choosing to unlock your phone.
The same can be observed with calls too along with the option to accept or decline them. When in the camera app, the ring can act as a slider while zooming in or out, just like you would with a DSLR camera by rotating the lens. When none of these functionalities are in use, the ring can act as an analog clock. Huawei says that most of these actions are very intuitive and are inspired by natural human actions. You can even use the ring to control media volume, just like you would be using a volume knob.
We would have to wait to see if this technology actually comes to life with the Huawei Mate 40 series, but it’s interesting to see more such innovations that provide a unique experience while using a smartphone.