Xiaomi files patent for smartphone with movable camera module

Smartphone cameras are such a common feature; we can hardly remember what life was like before we were able to carry around powerful cameras in our pockets. Xiaomi will now be taking that to the next level.

We recently reported on Xiaomi’s patent for a smartphone with a removable display. Their latest patent mentions a camera with a movable camera module; it would allow a user to capture high-quality wide-angle shots without distortion.

As much as I love my current smartphones, the distortion can at times be a pain; it gives a warped effect to some of your photos. Here’s what Xiaomi wants to work on at some point in the future.

xiaomi camera smartphone (2)
Image via Let’s Go Digital.

Xiaomi’s latest patent

Xiaomi smartphone with tilting cameras

The patent, simply titled ‘camera module and terminal’, was filed by Xiaomi with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) back in October 2019. It was approved on 30 July.

It was also recently added to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), a database for the worldwide protection of this innovation. The patent document can be viewed here.

Xiaomi also filed a document that describes in detail how the new camera technology would be implemented in a smartphone. It will work a bit different from what we’re used to at the moment.

xiaomi camera smartphone (2)
Image via Let’s Go Digital.

Distortion-free, wide-angle images

Let’s Go Digital, who also tracked down the patent, explains that current phone models are equipped with a wide-angle lens to be able to take beautiful wide-angle pictures. The site goes on:

“The disadvantageous effect of such a lens is that distortion often occurs, causing the recorded image to deviate from reality. Consider, for example, tall buildings that suddenly look crooked in the photo”.

Distortion will be a thing of the past with Xiaomi’s patented technology. According to the patent document, distortion-free images could be achieved with the implementation of two cameras and a “small viewing angle”.

‘Continuous multi-frame images’

The cameras would be able to rotate in sync with each other and significantly extend the effective viewing angle range. The camera module would thus be able to capture high-quality wide-angle images without a wide-angle lens.

xiaomi camera smartphone (2)
Image via Let’s Go Digital.

“This technology also makes it possible to capture ‘continuous multi-frame images’; whether or not in the form of video recordings, where the tilting camera ensures smooth, moving images – without having to move the device yourself”.

Let’s Go Digital.

Although the two cameras on the patent images are placed horizontally from each other, it becomes clear from the documentation that this technology can also be used with a vertically placed camera system.

Back in June, the team also tracked down a similar patent mentioning a camera smartphone with a tilting image sensor, filed by Samungs in June 2020.

Note: The high-resolution 3D renders of the Xiaomi smartphone used in this article are used with permission and were created by Let’s Go Digital. Protection Status

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