As the world eagerly anticipates the arrival of Vivo’s futuristic smartphone sometime in the middle of this year, Vivo is probably working hard to iron out any kink, control the production cost, and also talking to Essential Phone. Why? Well, as it turns out, Essential Phone had mooted the idea of pop-up selfie camera on its near-bezel-less Essential Phone. Obviously, Andy Rubin’s startup handset maker did not implemented it, but it did filed and secured a patent in 2015 for it. Doh!
What this means is, Vivo can’t go ahead without coming to some licensing agreement with the young phone maker. The patent only came to light earlier this month when Rubin responded to a tweet about the Apex concept phone with a link to the said patent. The patent was filed as “apparatus and method to maximize the display area of a mobile device” and in it, it includes the proposed pop-up selfie shooter. The patent actually proposed two methods.
The first is the pop-up camera which will emerged from the phone on the top side when the camera is activated. The second is integrating the camera into the screen. The on-screen camera also serves as a camera icon to trigger the camera function. It is essentially an under display camera that we could be seeing in future smartphones when the technology becomes available. So, there you have it. The pop-up camera is Essential’s, alright. Hopefully, it is not going to bump up the cost of the Apex. Not that I am all thrilled about the surely-slow-to-react pop-up selfie camera. It is a cool feature though – that’s until technology that allows for under display camera becomes available.
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) March 3, 2018
Image: Google Patents/Essential Phone.