Smartphone with a built-in Camera drone by Vivo

Vivo filed a patent for a smartphone that could house an entire mini-drone inside of it. Some new concept renders of the device have emerged online, giving us a rough idea about how it would operate. The drone will draw power from the phone’s battery and serve as a suspended camera of sorts.

Vivo has never shied away from pushing smartphone design to its absolute limits. As a result, we got the world’s first-ever pop-up selfie camera on the original Vivo Nex. Although the trend didn’t pick up, it showed the world that the Chinese OEM, otherwise known for making cheap smartphones, could also innovate better than industry leaders like Samsung and Apple. Some time ago, we stumbled upon yet another one of Vivo’s eccentric concepts. It involved a smartphone that could fit a fully functional drone inside of it.

LetsGoDogital, in collaboration with designer @sarangsheth, has now drawn up some concept renders of the device. It showcases a regular smartphone with a large rectangular cutout at the top for the drone. One may have to extract it manually using something like a SIM card ejector tool. An automatic solution could be possible, too, but it’ll require a powerful motor, which will add more strain to the phone’s battery. Most of the smartphone’s components may need to be relocated towards the bottom to make room for the drone.

Moving on to the actual drone, it appears to draw power from its housing, which presumably interfaces with the phone’s battery wirelessly. One can’t help but wonder where the phone’s battery is, given that more than half of its body is occupied by the drone. Given its small size, the accompanying motor will likely also be tiny, so its flight capabilities will be very limited. It is little more than a glorified camera that can hover around you for a while. At the very least, it can capture some stunning images if used correctly. Vivo could fit two, or even three camera sensors on the drone. However one of them will have to be earmarked as the drone’ flight camera. Flying the drone shouldn’t be too complex and could be done via an app on the smartphone.

Unfortunately, designing a phone-drone hybrid can get quite tricky. For starters, one needs to completely redesign a smartphone from the ground up to make room for the drone. Even small drones are pretty power-hungry and making one run off a smartphone battery will be nothing short of a nightmare. Then again, companies are known to file patents for seemingly outrageous products and sit on them for decades, with the hope that it will manifest itself into a working product one day.