Global tech giant Google could be joining the camera business if a patent it was awarded this month is anything to go by. Filed in June 2014 and just approved on the 12th January this year, the patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office is for a design for a folding camera that's hinged in the middle like a clamshell mobile phone. The design appears to allow the camera to stand upright on its own, which presents a great deal of stability and also the ability to shoot selfies. It isn’t clear from the drawings whether the camera’s screen is inside the fold or on the back outer surface, but the significant bulge of the lens housing suggests the camera has a wide ranging zoom or high class optics.

The design allows the camera to open out so that its backside outer cover/screen can be brought to face in the same direction as the lens, with the front and back of the device creating one long flush surface, other than a gutter in the fold.

The patent might, of course, come to nothing, but it isn't inconceivable that the company that seems to be into everything should want to create a standalone camera too. We will have to wait and see, but in the meantime can enjoy a little speculation – the patent is good for 14 years.

Do you think the camera will come to life or would Google be crazy to produce it? Let us know in the comments.

For more information visit the US Patents and Trademarks office website