Smartphone photography has somewhat influenced amateur photography for a few years now, at least, Apple and Samsung have won the appreciation of photographers and youngsters in general with software enhancements and DSLR-like photos. Recently, we have seen smartphone manufacturers are emphasizing greatly photography sections and bringing larger and sensitive camera sensors. Having a 108MP camera sensor isn't shocking news anymore.
When smartphone companies are competing with each other, Xiaomi decided to join the trend. The company announced its latest development through a Tweet. The company's official Twitter feed shows a short clip of a new 120mmm retractable camera lens that is built specifically for smartphones, taking the ultrawide lens that users are now getting used to, and giving it a major power-up. The tweet says, "Inspired by traditional camera designs, we now introduce you to the 120mm-equivalent retractable-wide aperture lens! Optimized with a bigger aperture and upgraded stabilizer, you can now capture better portraits and low light images.
If you have ever used a traditional camera, you must be familiar with the concept of retractable design. These lenses when pressed and rotate, get the extended length. In some cameras, it automatically starts the camera as well. The retractable camera lens has been absent from smartphones due to several reasons, including fragility and issues like waterproof. Those hurdles remain, which it is likely which Xiaomi is only showing off this bet of technology. Still, we can expect and hope for bigger steps in the future in terms of mobile photography.
No we are not talking about the iPhone 8 which we know is the most talked about iPhone at the moment. We are indeed talking about the iPhones which we will see in 2018. Based on a recent patent application by Apple, the iPhone which is still over one and a half year away from us, could sport a retractable design.
As you can see from the design sketches, the concept looks quite similar to what a scroll looks like. There are cylindrical housings on both sides and a thin sheet in between that can be retracted back until the two cylindrical units meet. The sheet in the middle is of course the flexible OLED panel of the device, with everything else being housed within the two cylindrical units. All of this is only hypothesis of course, but that's exactly what it looks like.
We have to admit, the concept looks downright revolutionary from every angle. Granted that chances of seeing something so radical and futuristic by next year are pretty slim, it is still a fact that Apple has indeed applied for a patent and these sketches seem to show us in which direction Apple is headed.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)