#PMChallenge – Mechanical pop-up for notification

  1. Spawnn
    Donut Feb 4, 2019

    Spawnn , Feb 4, 2019 :
    Hello everybody,
    This is my first post so I welcome all OnePlus users. I'm looking forward to getting my first OnePlus soon (after OP7 release, all the leaks sound like my perfect phone!) and there will be not a better way to celebrate it like participating in this challenge, so here it goes:


    I heard that new OnePlus devices will sport a cutting edge technology of a mechanical pop-up camera, which for me is a perfect compromise to still have functional front facing camera, truly burden-less and bezel-less experience without sacrificing sturdiness of the whole construction. On that fact I based my function proposal. In my opinion pop-up camera is very futuristic and simply cool. It would be nice to use it not only for front facing photos, but also to utilize it in other way (especially for users who don’t do many selfies – so they also can enjoy it) - to enjoy it more often and also maybe to show others how futuristic phone we have. Of course at the same time the function must be practical, as the OnePlus philosophy was from the beginning.

    Who are the users?

    All the people (including me) who miss the notification diode, but at the same time they welcome and encourage the burden-less and bezel-less design. Also the users who like innovation and want to see the cool new technology inside their phone and show it to others, yet they value the functionality of such feature, so it has to have practical side, which can benefit all users.

    What is the proposed function?

    Behind most great features stand pretty simple ideas, the same is here. The full or partial (partial would be enough but I’m not sure if will be possible hardware-wise) sliding out of the pop-out camera module on the smartphone would indicate that user has some unseen notifications. The function will be optional for turning on in options. Preferably during initial setting on the probe user should be asked also then if he/she wants to turn it on from the beginning – just to be sure that he won’t miss that function like that is available.

    Representative image of the function with cam module fully popped-out*.
    Algorithm of the function would be as follows:
    1. Screen is off and phone received a notification.
    2. Phone checks with accelerometer if it is in the user’s pocket (then standard vibration will only occur) or if it’s lying down (no major accelerometer movement for 30s = lying down). Optional second condition - after the 30s test do a quick check on proximity sensor and/or digitizer (to see if the touch screen is pressed, for example by leg if the phone is in the pocket)
    3. If accelerometer shows that phone is lying down (and optional checks are negative, if applied), the camera module will pop-out, so the user can see that there is a new notification.
    4. After unlocking the lock screen/dismissing notification – camera will hide back.
    Possible customization options for the function (as a submenu in Settings):
    • Turn the function off/on. Other feature might work when it’s off (blinking pixels/icons or others).
    • Decide what apps/event will trigger it.
    • [f hardware allows that:] Decide what apps/event will trigger standard action (partial pop-out) and what the urgent action (full pop-out). Default urgent events: SMS and missed call.
    • Set the delay after how many minutes (default – 1 min) after getting the notification the mechanical pop-out will occur (if we don’t want to have it if we put the phone down only for a few minutes – then standard turning on display for a second to show notification is enough, as we are nearby and planning to use phone in a second). Optional: decide what apps/event will be urgent and will trigger the pop-out sooner (by default: SMS and missed phone call).
    • Decide when the camera should hide back. By default after unlocking lock screen (not only turning on display) or dismissing (sliding) notification on locked screen.

    What is the user value?

    User will have constantly visible indicator if the has any important notification unseen while the phone is lying somewhere nearby. Camera module is big enough to be easily seen from room distance and it doesn’t matter if the phone is lying on the back or on the screen. It will consume little energy, no more than a standard vibration, as it must be done only once and the camera will stay popped-out. It will give another chance to use new technology implemented to the phone and make it visible to the user as a futuristic feature and additionally to show it to the others. It is important because many users (especially power users – core of OnePlus community) probably will not use the front facing camera that often and this will give then new function connected to the new hardware feature. The durability should not be a problem, as there is a phone* using similar motorized mechanism every time to unlock the screen, which occurs more often than missed notification.

    If there are existing comparable functions in the smartphone industry, how is your proposed feature superior?

    Actually it will be very unique use of new hardware that almost no other phone has*, so it will be new feature for this hardware and can additionally wide-spread and promote it. Of course there are other notifications systems, so we can compare to them:

    • Always on display – takes more battery, can be hard to read from a room distance, already widely used (no new feature). Other upside – this function will work whether the phone is screen facing up or down, AoD will work only in the first scenario.
    • Diode – diode is bilking only once every few seconds, sometimes user must stare couple of second at the phone to see if there is notification and also need to focus very hard with his eyes because the notification diode is small and often not very visible. Popped-out cam module is permanent and easily visible and not disturbing while sleeping and phone is on the nightstand next to us. Again – this function will work whether the phone is screen facing up or down, diode will work only in the first scenario. Diode is also old solution, not very futuristic.
    • Blinking pixels/icons on screen – it is a replacement for a notification diode, probably better than the always on display, but still not very futuristic (pretending to be old fashioned diode) and not using any new hardware technologies implemented in the new modern phone factor. The same as above – will only work when phone is lying on the back, not on screen.

    *Phones mentioned in this document are Vivo Nex (on the picture) and Oppo Find X (using motorized mechanism for face unlock).
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019

  2. GopalB.
    Nougat Feb 5, 2019

    GopalB. , Feb 5, 2019 :
    This sounds interesting but...
    1. Mechanical camera is not yet confirmed...
    2. Don't you think it will put extra strain on the hardware and result in reduced life-span of the product???

  3. Intruder71
    Lollipop Feb 5, 2019

    Intruder71 , Feb 5, 2019 :
    What happens when they drop it sorry automatic damage

  4. GopalB.
    Nougat Feb 5, 2019

    GopalB. , Feb 5, 2019 :
    Well... You can call it 6T then... :p

    Bouncer71, Rusty NZ and Intruder71 like this.
  5. siddharth.oneplus
    Cupcake Feb 5, 2019

    siddharth.oneplus , Feb 5, 2019 :

    mechanical camera is not quite a game show at present, people want a quick launch and integrated hardware, pop up camera doesn't seem quite well, as far as my views are

  6. strafer
    Lollipop Feb 5, 2019

    strafer , Feb 5, 2019 :
    I'm carring my phone in my jeans in the left front pocket, display inside. When I'm sitting, the phone is on top of my leg, leg doesn't move for 30 seconds, camera moves out, ...

  7. Spawnn
    Donut Feb 5, 2019

    Spawnn , Feb 5, 2019 :
    Hi guys, I'm glad that my thread caused such a great discussion, let me answer what I can and make some adjustments :)

    1. I know that, that's the risk I'm taking here, no risk no fun :D but for sure developers of OP know that so if it's not the case then they will ignore my post or maybe use it anyway in Oppo or Vivo, that still would be great :)
    2. I don't think so, look at Oppo find X, it uses similar mechanism each time you unlock your phone/take photo (front and back cam) so if they are confident it will be OK there, then here it will be also fine, as it won't be used as often as unlock+cams.

    You mean drop the pop-up cam in the future? Yeah it's possible but nobady says that the feature must be forever, it will make OP7 and probably OP7+ way cooler and I think that's good enough :)

    Well it's not yet but I believe it will be for Oppo/Vivo/OP for this year flagships or longer and I like it because: 1.they invented it, 2. it's the best compromise to get full screen bezel-less notch-less hole-less etc display and still have functional portrait camera keeping the phone uniform factor (not flimsy like full sliders). That is the best option in my opinion until we can hide camere under the working display.

    Even sitting down your muscles are not made of marble and there is some movement causing accelerometer readings, you can check it with some accelerometer data logger, phone sitting still on table gives way different readings than phone on body even if you don't move, especially if you measure for 30s. So I think it will be ok, but that is a good point, I will add optional second condition - check proximity sensor and/or digitizer input (touchscreen being touched for example by leg) before popping-out. But even it will happen somehow once in a blue moon it will not do any damage - see Vivo Nex test from JerryRigEverything. The mechanism is very durable. So the same goes if the phone will be sitting next to wall/some object and camera will pop into this obstacle - it will do no harm.

    I hope I cleared up some point, if you have any other thought, it would be great to hear them. Thanks all you guys!

  8. Sridhar Ananthanarayanan
    Lollipop Feb 5, 2019

    Sridhar Ananthanarayanan , Feb 5, 2019 :
    So you want the camera to act as a notification mechanism. Bad idea. Why don’t you use AOD? No need to keep staring for a couple of seconds even. And how will your proposed feature help in a dark environment? More potential to damage the phone.

  9. Spawnn
    Donut Feb 5, 2019

    Spawnn , Feb 5, 2019 :
    Well because it should be less power consuming and simply cooler than AoD. Additionally OP team for some reason didn't bring AoD for 6T so I'm feeling they don't want to use it. In dark environment? In dark-ish room it will be visible, in total dark room the diode/AoD is not a feature, it's annoying in my opinion. I don't see any real life scenario that you will be in total dark room and need notification to be seen, usually this is scenario when you are going to sleep and then it will be annoying (I have diode and usually I need to place phone screen down and risk getting scratches so the diode will not annoy me). I think I covered all concerns about the potential damage to the phone and I don't think there is any real risk of that, but of course OP team will decide on that.

    But thank you for your opinion, I'm glad to receive any kind of feedback!

  10. Mike_ingrum
    Cupcake Feb 5, 2019

    Mike_ingrum , Feb 5, 2019 :
    I don't see how using a mechanical moter to move a camera, or even a magnet solenoid to make the camera pop up would be less power consuming then an AOD.

  11. Mike_ingrum
    Cupcake Feb 5, 2019

    Mike_ingrum , Feb 5, 2019 :
    Sounds cool, bit I don't think OnePlus will do a sliding camera. I'm betting they will improve the camera in the fingerprint reader under the phone screen to be used as a selfie camera. Or they will go with the hole punch.

  12. The1Lion
    Marshmallow Feb 5, 2019

    The1Lion , Feb 5, 2019 :
    Are you happy to see me or is that a popup camera in your pocket? :p

    I'd think this would lead to many broken popup camera's that tried to open in a pocket but couldn't. All the extra opening and closing would increase wear and tear. Interesting idea but I don't think it's practical

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  13. Spawnn
    Donut Feb 5, 2019

    Spawnn , Feb 5, 2019 :
    Because it will use the motor only once and that's it (until you will trigger any action to hide it), with AoD you need constantly refresh the screen (with low frequency but still), use ram to maintain what is displayed and keep active the display driver all the time + some process must be constantly running on the cpu (causing waking up from deep sleep - biggest battery drainer if you count how many hours it must do it). There is a reasen why the OP removed this option from OP6 and never put it back.

    I know there is a risk of that. But all the leaks (including photos) show that Vivo V15 and Oppo R19 will have a pop-up cam, now take a look at Oppo R17 and Vivo V11 which were released few months before OP6T and compare their design to OP6T. I think I don't need to point out that all 3 companies have the same owner? That's why I'm counting that they will use the same pop-up cam on OP7 and probably OP7+, but of course if not - the OP team will ignore my proposal or hand it over to Oppo/Vivo team, fine by me :D

    Well with proper sensor check it is rather impossible, but this is impossible for you or me to determine, but for sure OP team can. But I still stand by my opinion that even if this would happen it will not cause any demage, see bend test of Vivo Nex, it's way easier to bend your iPhone in your pocket than to demage the popped-out cam ;) about wear I already have written - take a look tak Oppo find x - same mechanism, moving even bigger part (whole top side of the back) and it is popping each time you unlock the screen or want to take photo (for both front and back cam), if they were confident that it will stand this many operations (and they are offering this phone to new markets all the time, so probably they don't have any wear problems with) then for sure it will be fine here, it will occur less frequently than that.

    Again, thanks for participating in the discussion, looking forward to hear more!

  14. The1Lion
    Marshmallow Feb 5, 2019

    The1Lion , Feb 5, 2019 :
    I'm just thinking number of selfies I take is minimal vs number of notifications I receive. Just seems there is an easier way to show notifications...

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  15. Mike_ingrum
    Cupcake Feb 5, 2019

    Mike_ingrum , Feb 5, 2019 :
    If they do end up doing this, how about a front facing flash instead of a notification diode?

  16. strafer
    Lollipop Feb 6, 2019

    strafer , Feb 6, 2019 :
    That was my challenge! ;)
    I was just a little bit nosey and installed an accelerometer data logger. I read a book with my phone on my leg, fell asleep for roundabout 40 minutes. My result: Not 30 seconds, not 90 seconds but 9 minutes was the longest time without a move. :D

  17. toastytoast1234
    Marshmallow Feb 6, 2019

    toastytoast1234 , Feb 6, 2019 :
    How about a completely independent physical popout marching band playing vuvuzelas? That way, when the notification popout inevitably grinds to a halt it won't impact the camera.

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  18. toastytoast1234
    Marshmallow Feb 6, 2019

    toastytoast1234 , Feb 6, 2019 :
    Were you perchance reading an erotic novel?

  19. The1Lion
    Marshmallow Feb 6, 2019

    The1Lion , Feb 6, 2019 :
    Now there's a OS feature I can use!

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  20. toastytoast1234
    Marshmallow Feb 6, 2019

    toastytoast1234 , Feb 6, 2019 :
    I think a German Oompah band would also achieve the required results, not sure if any copyright questions kick in there.

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