When it comes to point-and-shoots, you generally don’t see too much variation in the lens covers. They usually either have an automatic one or a piece that slides out of the way in one direction. A patent filed by Sony, however, shows off a pretty radical design that might set their cameras apart from the rest.
The idea’s really simple: the front bit not only slides over, but pops out and locks (pop and lock?) to form a little hand grip, while simultaneously uncovering the lens. Though I usually don’t support adding extra moving parts to something simple like a compact camera, this is cool enough that I have to give my seal of approval.
More pics at the patent.