Tech

Sony Patent Shows Pop-Up Speakers on Xperia Smartphone

By Bill Toulas / May 20, 2020

Sony was always the smartphone maker to cater to the “audiophiles” in the Android world, paying great attention to the sound systems of its handsets. They often used top-quality components that raised the cost of the devices without delivering anything that could be practically marketed to the consumer. Still, those who knew about the excellent audio fidelity provided by Sony devices paid the extra bucks. But, in this day and age of smartphone design flatness, what are the margins left for smartphone makers to innovate on that part? A recently disclosed Sony patent proves there’s room for innovation when it comes to delivering sound.

A Dutch tech news site has located a patent that depicts pop-up speakers on an Xperia smartphone. The upper speaker can also house the selfie camera, while the bottom one could incorporate the microphone used during calls. This way, the Xperia of the future could be entirely notchless - while delivering “uncompromising” stereo sound quality. The patent even describes an automated sliding mechanism for the speakers that would follow the source of the sound, popping the corresponding speaker up in a subtly non-obtrusive manner.

sony_smartphone

Source: Lets Go Digital

While this looks great on paper, it is going to be very hard to fit the pop-up mechanisms and the speakers inside the device. Maybe Sony’s signature 21:9 elongated display designs will now come in handy, but still, how much space could be left inside the housing for the new assemblies? And would that space be large enough to host an adequately large battery that would rock the speakers and move them in and out? This seems to be quite hard to achieve, and this is where Sony’s engineers must prove their ingenuity. No matter what they’ll do, though, our guess is that this device can never become waterproof - but this aspect is something that many would trade-off for pop-up speakers on a notchless Xperia.

xperia-smartphone-pop-down-speaker

Source: Lets Go Digital

Sony’s most recent earnings report (Q1 2020) painted a very dire picture for the mobile division of the Japanese tech giant. During that time, Sony shipped 400,000 smartphones, which is a new record low. That said, the mobile business isn’t going very well for Sony, and the latest Xperia models aren’t doing enough to turn things around. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic that has hit the entire smartphone industry - and its sales, in general - isn’t helping the situation. Sony hasn’t even provided a forecast for the next fiscal year. If they really want to get back in the game, they’ll have to present truly innovative devices, and this latest patent is a ray of hope that shines on that road.



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