Last year the Chinese smartphone manufacturer OPPO was among the first to introduce a full-screen smartphone, the OPPO Find X. To integrate the selfie-camera the smartphone was equipped with a pop-up camera. In the meantime manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei have announced a full screen smartphone with a punch-hole camera design. It is believed OPPO will launch a similar looking smartphone in 2019.
Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is also said to be planning to introduce new phones at MWC 2019 with this new design, and now the company has filed patent applications demonstrating alternate ways to use the punch-hole, apart from integrating the selfie camera. The company’s patent applications include new swipes and actions using the punch hole to enable opening apps and even closing them.
What Oppo has done is put the camera app over the camera hole. In their latest patent filing, Oppo shows that the punch hole camera can be hidden by placing a camera app icon over the camera hole. The icon is designed in a way that the camera hole forms a part of the icon, showing the lens arrangement in real-time. When the user swipes the home screen, the camera app stays there while other icons move swap places.
By making a swipe movement at the top of the display the icons will appear. Users can scroll through the icons, allowing for more app icons to appear. The camera icon will always stay in the same place.
According to the second filling, the camera icon overlays the punch-hole. By clicking on the icon, users can open the camera app. By swiping it to the right, the camera app will be turned off.
While this is still a patent, such an implementation could help Oppo hide the camera hole in more affordable devices. The patent also confirms Oppo’s intentions to adopt the punch hole camera display for its smartphones in the future.