Vivo showcased the APEX concept phone with in-display fingerprint scanner, 98% screen-to-body ratio and most importantly an elevating front camera at the MWC 2018 event last week. The unique feature of the phone is the front-camera that seamlessly rises in 0.8 seconds when it is required and retracts after use. But it turns out, Andy Rubin of Essential was granted the patent for this solution to Essential Products, Inc in 2017.
This new piece of information was revealed by Andy Rubin himself and linked a Google Patents page on Twitter in a response to a query from an Essential fan named Rafael. The patent was filed in the US in May 2016 by Essential Products Inc entitled “Apparatus and method to maximize the display area of a mobile device.” It basically reciprocates exactly the same thing that Vivo demonstrated. Essential was granted the patent in August 2017, however, a follow-up patent is currently pending.
Furthermore, another implementation shows the camera that will be mounted on the top-left corner of the screen and simultaneously act as a permanent camera icon. Brands usually file for patents that never see the day in the light, but with Andy Rubin showing off the patent design, it’s a fair bet to expect at least one of these solutions on an upcoming Essential product.