The next frontier in smartphone design is all about foldable devices that promise a larger screen on demand without being too bulky. Another design innovation that phone makers are experimenting with is the camera module design. Right from the notches, pop-ups to the recent punch-hole. Asus experimented with the Zenfone 6 swivel camera design and even Samsung’s rotating camera Galaxy A80 was a refreshing take. Now Xiaomi is going into uncharted territory with its remarkable new patent.

91mobiles has revealed that Xiaomi is working on a camera module that twists horizontally to bring the rear camera module to the front for clicking selfies. The company has filed for a patent with China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) which clearly hints the working of the module.

The display panel is split into two parts with the chunk of the main display being parted by the other half that makes for the flexible camera setup. When the display moves to the back for the camera to function as a front-facing camera, the part of the display acts as a secondary screen on the rear. The main screen aspect ratio automatically adjusts to adapt to the screen layout change.

The design is quite ahead of its time and also brings concerns that would make it challenging to operate in real-life situations. For example, the split in the screen will be a visual hindrance and the swivel mechanism could be susceptible to durability issues and dust build-up in the exposed parts. Also, face-recognition, a common feature in 2020 phones will be a challenge to implement. We shall wait to hear more about this from Xiaomi.