A full-screen design has been the goal of smartphone manufacturers for a long time. Now, LetsGo Digital (via WIPO) is reporting that Samsung may have a way to achieve this goal. It is reported that Samsung patented an invisible selfie camera. Samsung’s invisible selfie camera will work by using a moving sub-display.
For years manufacturers have tried to figure out how to get an uninterrupted full-screen experience. There have been pop-up cameras, notches, and motorized cameras that flip.
The goal for all of these implementations is to allow for a full-screen experience. Once manufacturers were able to slim the bezels of their screens to razor-thin margins, the race to get rid of the selfie camera began.
Now, with Samsung’s invisible selfie camera patent, there is a new way to tackle this goal. ZTE recently released their new Axon 20 5G phone which hides the selfie camera under the screen. The implementation of this is revolutionary but the end result hurts the quality of the selfie camera.
Samsung’s approach, which was patented June 19 of this year, seeks to use a sub-display. The idea behind it is that there will be a secondary screen that will hide the selfie camera when not in use. The implementation could be used in the Galaxy S22.
Whereas ZTE uses a special film to allow an anti-reflective coating, Samsung goes a different route. According to LetsGo, the screen will contain a transparent area where the selfie camera goes. With Samsung, this is usually at the top in the middle. Under the transparent area is the sub-display.
Samsung’s invisible selfie camera is technical wizardry
Below the module will be an integrated dual camera with an LED flash. Biometric authentication is the job of the first camera. This can be for unlocking the phone, unlocking apps, authenticating payments, and more. Photo and video capture is the job of the second camera.
The configuration of the driver is interesting. The configuration allows the sub-display to move mechanically in relation to the transparent area. This almost works similar to a pop-up display.
When the sub-display is in use it will show information as normal such as time or batter status. When the sub-display is not in use the camera will show. In certain situations, only part of the camera may be visible. For example, unlocking your smartphone may only need to show part of the camera to scan your face.
The sub-display can activate automatically, or manually according to the patent. Users will be able to use the power button to control the movement of the second screen, and there will be a touch sensor. The touch sensor will allow the user to operate the sub-display with their finger by tapping it twice or swiping.
The patent mentions that this could also work with an S-Pen as well as a finger. This is interesting when you think about rumors of the Galaxy Note series being discontinued. However, Samsung’s other devices may adopt S-Pen functionality.
Samsung led the charge when it came to shrinking the bezels of smartphones. Now it seems Samsung is ready to use their exceptional manufacturing skills to introduce a new way of hiding the selfie camera. If any company can do this it is Samsung.