We were wowed the other day by Vivo’s novel solution to what to do with a front-facing camera when your screen covers the full face of your handset.
Their Apex concept features a pop-up camera amongst other innovations, including an in-display fingerprint reader and using the screen as a speaker.
Vivo had no immediate plans to bring the device to market, and this is probably a good thing, as Andy Rubin from Android OEM Essential is very clear they own the patent to the technology.
— Rafael Villar (@RitterRav) March 2, 2018
— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) March 3, 2018
The patent “Apparatus and method to maximize the display area of a mobile device” was applied for in May 2016 and the drawing clearly shows Vivo’s implementation in action.
Of course, the mere existence of a patent does not guarantee that Essential has an exclusive on pop-up cameras, and it would be a pity of this good and somewhat obvious idea gets locked away from other OEMs when Essential in the end, like Apple, also opted for a notch.
Essential’s patent can be seen here.