Oppo seems to be exploring the benefits and possibilities of placing a camera side-by-side of a smartphone. This design focuses on the use of a mirror instead of integrating a dedicated sensor.

Although the company had already patented this design, it was only approved and published this week. Oppo believes that a camera at the phone’s side can be useful for moving subjects, even though it may not seem very useful.

“Especially when moving subjects, it can prove difficult to capture them sharply using a smartphone camera,” , who created and illustrated the design, says. Think of a bicycle speeding by. To visualize the action, you will need to move your phone. You can change the direction of the shot by drilling a hole in the frame at the height of your upper rear camera.

Oppo patents that, instead of having a separate camera sensor on the back and side of the smartphone’s screen, Oppo uses a mirror system which allows only one sensor to do the same job. Oppo’s idea is that the mirror will rotate when the camera detects a subject moving to the right or out of frame. The side camera will then be activated to continue capturing the event seamlessly. Oppo can use a mirror to save costs and allows Oppo not to rely on software to switch between sensors.

Oppo hasn’t yet shipped a product using mirrors in an inventive way, but this patent doesn’t cover the first camera technology that uses them. Oppo also patents a pop-up double-sided camera that uses mirrors to direct the camera in either a forward or reverse direction. Although these ideas are intriguing, Oppo may not be able to ship a design using a mirror before it is implemented.