According to LetsGoDigital, a new patent for Xiaomi’s modular mobile phone has been released. The patent was issued on April 29, 2021 and has been listed in the database of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to protect the patented technology worldwide.
According to the patent, Xiaomi’s modular phone consists of three modules: the first module (top part) contains the PCB (motherboard) and camera, the second module (middle part) holds the battery, and the third module (bottom part) contains the interface and speakers. To better showcase the phone, Dutch graphic designer Jermaine Smit created a set of product renderings based on Xiaomi’s patent.
According to the patent documents, Xiaomi’s modular phones have a full-screen design and are made of metal or plastic material. Through the track system, the modules can be slided-together and disassembled. In addition, the patent documents also show that at least two modules are connected to form a complete screen, and it is worth noting that the spliced screen has no visible seams in the middle.
The patent also shows and describes two different camera modules. The first module is a square camera system consisting of three cameras and a flash, while the second module is a vertical camera system consisting of four cameras. Notably, the bottom lens is square, indicating that the camera module has a submersible zoom camera.
It is not shown in the patent file what kind of solution Xiaomi has adopted for the front camera on the front of the phone. Although the screen opening forward-shot solution is widely used, Xiaomi has recently applied for a patent for a rotating camera under the screen, so it is not ruled out that Xiaomi will adopt the camera under the screen on this phone.
Of course, Xiaomi could also add to the proactive scheme by releasing multiple modules: one with a simple on-screen cutout front-facing camera, and one with an under-screen front-facing camera.
There are many options for users to choose from, which is the advantage of modular phones. Of course, Xiaomi’s new phone isn’t its first attempt at modular phones. According to Igeekphone, as early as 2013, Lei Jun, co-founder and CEO of Xiaomi, posted various photos of Xiaomi’s Rubik’s Cube modular phone on Weibo, as well as the previous Google Project Ara Project, as well as Motorola Moto Z series, which uses Moto Mods module to expand mobile phone functions, whcih are manufacturers of modular mobile phone exploration.