Xiaomi has filed a new smartphone design patent with the Chinese patent office CNIPA. The design shows a new shape that can be adapted for better use of waterfall displays on smartphones. The patent was reportedly published on April 3 and has now been included in the Global Design Database of the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). The new design patented by the Chinese company shows a phone with a waterfall screen, with a screen that covers approximately 60 percent of the sides of the phone. A cascading screen is essentially a curved screen that runs slightly down the sides of the phone. Xiaomi had filed this patent in September 2019 with CNIPA, before it was published on April 3. The patent document was cited by a Dutch website called LetsGoDigital. The website shows that the cascading screen of the patented Xiaomi phone recedes at an angle close to 90 degrees. According to the report, both edges of Xiaomi's proprietary phones have a screen of more than 60 percent due to the cascading design. In addition to the design, Xiaomi's patent focuses on a new use case for the cascading screen. The two sides of the prototype phone seem to contain the navigation control and the status icon interface, as you can see in the image below.
Now this could be an interesting step from Xiaomi as it appears to be a useful user interface design for optimal use of screen space. For example, watching videos on such a smartphone will offer a seamless experience, with controls that never interfere with content as they can be placed to one side. However, Xiaomi will not be the first to do so.
The report also speculated that this Xiaomi smartphone could also come with a front-facing camera under the screen. The report gave nothing to back up this claim, other than citing a 2019 prototype that the company showed with a front-facing camera under the screen. It is unclear whether Xiaomi will ever use the proprietary design in a commercial product.
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