Vivo patents design for smartphone drone hybrid device

A new Vivo patent published to WIPO suggests the company is potentially working on a smartphone drone hybrid.

The patent, spotted by LetsGoDigital, imagines a traditional smartphone body on the surface. The phone packs a sizeable display up front, while the right flank houses a volume rocker and power button. It all seems normal so far. However, at the bottom of the phone, a removable slot houses a flying camera drone.

Vivo Z1x with focus on vivo logo

TL;DR

  • Vivo has patented a smartphone drone hybrid device.
  • The drone, which slides out of the smartphone, packs four propellers and a dual-camera setup.
  • Users can then fly the drone to shoot selfies or landscapes from above.

This drone features four propellers, a dual-camera system, and infrared sensors. The operator can likely fly the drone with its host smartphone to shoot selfies from above, spy on their neighbors, or snap landscapes from the air.

Vivo’s smartphone drone: Pros and cons

vivo smartphone drone patent letsgodigital

It’s a niche device, but cramming a drone into a phone does have potential benefits. For part-time photographers, it would beat carrying a separate, larger drone for imaging. Its compact size would also make it ideal for travel. Presumably, charging the phone would also charge the drone itself.

As for the drawbacks, this drone would need to be wafer thin to slot into a smartphone’s body. The lighter the drone’s body, the more prone to wind it is, too. This would also make it pretty tough to pilot.

The space occupied by the drone would also impact the innards of the smartphone. Would this force Vivo to use a smaller battery or sacrifice on the phone’s primary camera hardware? Something has to give for the removable drone to exist.

Although Vivo is pushing ahead with nifty camera technology, we don’t see this device launching to consumers anytime soon. It’s cool, but how practical is it really? It seems the firm wants to stake its claim in this potential future device sector.

If Vivo’s smartphone drone hybrid did debut officially, would you buy it? Be sure to vote in our poll above.

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