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Bizarre Oppo smartphone patent hints at a pop-up second screen

Image Credit: Vivo

Pop-up cameras are fast becoming all the rage, with the likes of Oppo and Vivo leading the charge, but now the former Chinese smartphone manufacturer could be working on a new pop-up (or folding) component - a second screen.

That's according to a patent submitted to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) in October 2018 (and spotted by LetsGoDigital), which apparently shows a triple front-camera set-up with a slender, almost bezel-sized, display which rises up above the trifecta of snappers.

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The patent notes: "the first display screen is movable relative to the second display screen to move from a position spliced with the second display screen to a position separated from the second display screen, and the movement manner of the first display screen includes but is not limited to moving or flipping."

That means the smaller screen (which the patent notes as the 'first display screen') may pop up like the cameras we've seen on the Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X, or may actually fold out on a hinge.

Fold or slide? Image Credit: LetsGoDigital

Fold or slide? Image Credit: LetsGoDigital (Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

The foldable future?

Foldable phones have been stealing headlines during the first two months of 2019 with the Royole FlexPai, Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X all breaking cover.

All three have one thing in common - huge price tags. With firms looking at smaller folding displays - such as the one shown in this patent - it would help reduce the cost of handsets while still delivering a new form factor and functionality. 

There's no guarantee this technology will make its way into a handset, as Oppo may just be testing out different implementations - but it could well be a sign of what to expect in the future.

John McCann

Global Managing Editor

John got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile. Previously Phones Editor, John now looks after the day-to-day running of the site. When he's not got his head buried in mobile tech, you'll find John sitting behind the wheel in his regular TR Drives column.