A new Xiaomi patent shows a modular phone and brings back hopes of a long awaited but never really achieved dream for the concept’s fans.
In February 2020, Xiaomi registered a patent in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, alluding to a device labeled as an “electronic device”. The registration, which grants worldwide protection to the intellectual property of this model, materialized on April 29, 2021.
As is usually the case with these documents, the figures included only present general aspects of the prototype of the device. The details that define the features and functions of the cell phone are specified in the text.
The documentation associated with this process was published by LetsGoDigital, who also shared some renderings of the plans shown there.
Dutch graphic designer Jermaine Smit, who works under the pseudonym Concept Creator, developed a rendered version of the smartphone.
Xiaomi’s patented modular phone works with multiple modules. One module contains the motherboard and camera system, another operates the battery, and in a third module, the speaker and USB port work.
As mentioned at the beginning, the idea of a cell phone with a modular structure is not something new. However, if this project comes to fruition, we could start experimenting with cell phones in a similar way to what we can do today with our computers. For example, in the case of Xiaomi’s patented cell phone, a backup speaker, a camera module with a longer lens range, and even more RAM or storage capacity could be added.
According to the patent, the modules can be slid to the left or right for easy changes. The end of each piece features a latching system designed to prevent accidental drops. After clicking correctly, the modules will make contact, enabling the smartphone for use.