A detachable drone camera on a smartphone? We aren’t kidding!
After putting a gimbal on their smartphones, it looks like Vivo has plans of taking camera tech to a whole new level. And they are even willing to fly for that. A new patent from Vivo shows that the company might be working on a smartphone with a very unique camera feature. While we already know about drones with cameras on them, Vivo might be working on a drone-like detachable camera module on a smartphone.
According to reports, Vivo has filed a patent with WIPO last year that got published on July 1. Going by the images on the patent, it appears that Vivo is working on a smartphone that comes with a detachable flying camera module that pops out from the bottom of the device. This is essentially a flying camera that is housed on the smartphone when not in use and is not a separate peripheral.
This detachable flying camera module sports four propellers that help it fly and it houses a battery pack that is separate from the smartphone's battery, and also has two camera sensors on the body. Additionally, there are two infrared sensors on the two sides of this detachable, flying camera module. While the patent does not exactly explain what these infrared sensors are for, in all likelihood they are meant to keep this flying module from bumping into other objects like in flight.
Reports state that this flying camera module might feature an automatic follow mode where it will be able to follow the user and fly automatically. There might be support for air gestures as well, but the patent does not have any concrete information regarding this yet.
The design of this detachable, flying camera module is pretty similar to Air Pix, which is a flying camera product. The Air Pix is about 10cm in size, so understandably what Vivo is working on will have to be much smaller to make it fit on a smartphone. Now, while all this is very exciting, there is no knowing if Vivo is actually working on a smartphone like this. A patent does not necessarily mean that the company will definitely launch a phone like this. Companies usually file a lot of patents, many of them don't ever see the light of day in finished forms. However, some concepts from those patents may turn up in future devices. So it remains to be seen what Vivo has planned.