OPPO held a special “Technology Event” today at the MWC in Barcelona, where the Chinese smartphone maker announced a new 5x camera technology.

Inspired by the submarine periscope, this new technology utilizes two cameras in a periscope-style setup to achive 5x optical zoom. The total thickness of this setup is only 5.7mm, which means that it won’t make the smartphone bulky and may even remove the camera-hump altogether.

Keep in mind that this won’t be a traditional camera setup as one of the cameras will remain inside the body and you’ll only see one camera outside.

How does the 5x Camera Technology Works?

The periscope setup divert lights through a prism and into a telephoto lens inside the smartphone, set at a 90-degree angle. So it gets all the space it needs while keeping the thickness to the minimum. Furthermore, in order to eliminate blurry photos while zooming, the OIS is directly applied to the telephoto lens instead of wide-angle lens.

OPPO’s Director of Hardware Research, Dr. King said that as compared to iPhone, their new camera setup achieves 3x optical zoom and then it is combined with OPPO’s proprietary Fusion Technology to get Lossless 5x Zoom.

He further said that making the Optical Prism for this technology was one of the most difficult tasks and it took 100+ Engineers more than 2 months to develop the right kind of Prism. In total this new camera setup took almost an year to develop and OPPO got more than 50 new patents in the process.

It is worth mentioning that ever since OPPO has entered the smartphone market, it has been experimenting with smartphone cameras. It took a unique approach with the rotating camera in N1 and later a motorized rotating camera in N3. Presently, OPPO’s flagship smartphones feature a 16-Megapixel front facing camera, which it claims to be the best in industry.

OPPO has showed some prototypes at the event, but we may also see an actual phone with this camera technology in a couple of months. May be the long-awaited Find 9 will be the first one to get this periscope-style camera, what do think?