Interchangeable emoji camera covers give smartphones more character

The back of our phones is always visible to the people around us, which makes it the most expressive part of the smartphone. That’s why manufacturers spend a lot of time and resources on the design of the phone’s rear, using a variety of materials for the cover and designs for the camera. Those designs, however, are decided by companies and never change once production starts. They don’t always reflect the owner’s tastes, and definitely not all the time. Being able to change your phone’s “face” to fit your mood offers a lot of freedom of expression, and it all takes is putting a different emoji on top of your camera.

Designer: Yifan Hu

Smartphone cameras are becoming more powerful and with that power comes bigger enclosures. What were once just two eyes looking at you from the back of the phone has become a large circle that adds a face to those eyes. It’s just a metaphor, of course, but one that can actually be used to design a set of accessories that turn your mobile partner into some sidekick character, complete with a face and a personality.

These emoji-inspired accessories simply put a smiley or one of its comical variants on top of the camera circle of a smartphone. It takes advantage of how most of these cameras are designed, with two of the cameras placed side by side and near the top of the circle. It’s a perfect location for eyes and a face, one that perhaps more accurately expresses your own personality or just your mood for that day.


Of course, there are obvious limitations to this design, the biggest of which is how not all camera bumps are circular. And those that are circular aren’t always located in the middle of the phone, making it a bit awkward but not entirely unattractive to put an emoji in the corner. That said, this camera design is actually becoming more popular these days as manufacturers try to figure out the best location for the growing number and sizes of cameras on a phone.

There’s also the consideration that a smartphone might have more than just two cameras, and their locations might not perfectly align with a smiley face. That simply needs a bit of creativity to design around those restrictions, like adding mouths to the face or having asymmetrical eyes that convey even more facial expressions than a traditional smiley. It’s really a simple concept that goes a long way in adding fun to the smartphone experience, while still giving you the freedom to go back to a pristine and “normal” look from time to time.