- Mock-ups based on Xiaomi patents shed light on a novel camera solution.
- The dual-camera array would be able to swivel on an axis, capturing more detailed wide-angle shots.
The solution documented in the patents concerns a dual-camera array. Both cameras are bolted onto a movable plate that can change the camerasâ€™ viewing angles. In one use case, the cameras can pivot to widen their field of view. The two shots can then be stitched together creating a wider-angle image.
LetsGoDigitalâ€˜s renders showcase the two cameras alongside one another, but Xiaomi could also employ such a system with two cameras arranged vertically.
Itâ€™s not clear what problem Xiaomi is trying to fix with these patents. While it would allow Xiaomiâ€™s smartphones to create more detailed and accurate wide-angle shots, it does seem to be a case of over-engineering.
The patented system doesnâ€™t seem to have a goal of reducing the number of sensors on a smartphone. Conventional smartphones are able to take ultra-wide shots with one camera, while this system requires two identical cameras to capture wide-angle scenes. Xiaomi would still need to fit a dedicated zoom and macro shooter on the device if they wanted those shots as well.
Adding moving parts to a smartphone also adds to the fragility of the device, as weâ€™ve seen with the previous generation of foldable phones. Dropping the device could also cause the camera array to experience alignment problems.
That said, take these renders with a pinch of salt. Xiaomi does tend to patent several wacky concepts including this bonkers detachable display smartphone, and a phone that doubles as a holder for wireless earbuds, too. Very rarely do these designs make it to the big stage, though.