updated 01:35 pm EST, Mon December 3, 2007
Nokia Swivel Camera Patent
Nokia has developed a unique way of incorporating a camera into a phone that can adjust for different shooting modes while improving quality of the resulting shots, a patent filing published late last week reveals. The design would rest the camera in a bar mounted sideways at the top of the phone, taking up no more space than an average camera; it could then swivel when the user wants to capture photos to face both outwards for everyday images or inwards for self-portraits and video calls. Such an invention would allow more advanced sensors and lenses to fit with the same flexibility as many other phones, Nokia says.
The mechanism would also permit a phone with a stronger or at least safer camera flash than most phones. On an average phone, any flash that might be present is permanently exposed to the outside, limiting its size and exposing it to cracks. The new implementation would have the user pull the camera housing upwards and expose a large omnidirectional flash hidden underneath that would illuminate in the direction of the camera.
As with most patents, no release information is provided, though the patent marks a departure from most patents by including photo-like renderings of a slider phone using the technology, suggesting that Nokia plans to release a product in the N-series media phone line using the technology. Little is revealed of the handset other than its likely use of a 6-megapixel camera or higher. [via Unwired View]