Smartphone brands have been trying various technologies to make smartphones bezel-free. We saw screen notches of various shapes, including a rectangular notch, a V-shaped notch, and a U-shaped notch, to maximize the screen area. We also saw phones with flip and pop-up selfie cameras. Samsung then introduced phones with punch-hole-shaped display cutouts. Now, the company seems to be working on a new solution to hide the selfie camera.
A new patent filed by Samsung with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) shows that the company is working on a solution that involves a sub-display to hide the front-facing camera. The patent explains how a small-sized sub-display can be placed below the main screen and then it can be operated using a motor. Whenever the user needs to use the front-facing camera, the phone moves down the sub-display to let all the light pass through to the sensor. When the camera is not being used, the sub-display covers the camera sensor, making it an elegant solution.
Samsung talks about using a dual-camera setup below the screen in its patent. The second sensor could be a ToF camera that can be used for secure face unlock. Moreover, the company also talks about the ability to only move the sub-display partially to reveal just one camera sensor. For example, while unlocking the phone, only the ToF camera can be revealed, while the camera sensor can be revealed while taking selfies and videos. LetsGoDigital has created an easy-to-understand GIF to showcase the technology.
The patent also mentions that the movable sub-display can show useful bits of information such as notification icons, time, battery level, and messages. The sub-display can either be moved by the phone automatically or by the user manually through a double-tap or a swipe-up action. This solution, if managed well, can be great because it can be used in an IP68-certified smartphone body. It doesn't even degrade the image quality, which is a problem on phones like the ZTE Axon 20 5G that have an under-display camera.
This patent from Samsung was published on December 24, 2020. However, we are not sure whether the South Korean tech giant will use this technology in its upcoming smartphones. Would you enjoy using a phone that uses this under-display selfie camera technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.