Google’s recent patent may solve image quality issues with under-display camera sensors

Google’s recent patent may solve image quality issues with under-display camera sensors
As we reported at the end of last year, Google may be working on a Pixel phone with an under-display camera, which may put them in the lead in the race to produce truly bezel-less and notch-free displays.

Just like fingerprint sensors, the solution seems to be implementing a camera lens underneath the touchscreen itself, and while the likes of Samsung are exploring their own integrations, Google’s approach is taking a more unique avenue.

How would it work?

Current attempts at under-screen cameras are still having issues around light optimization and image quality, as we saw with ZTE’s Axon 20 5G. While they were the the first to try an under-display camera, the results were average at best due to the lens behind another layer of glass.

What makes Google’s proposed solution unique is the second screen that will be placed opposite the camera itself, with a mechanical prism moving in and out of place when the camera is activated or deactivated. This allows a better flow of incoming light for optimal photo production, with the optical module being shielded by a small window when required.

These images from Let’sGoDigital explain things better:

Unlike other solutions so far, Google have interestingly taken a mechanical approach in their under-display camera, which may eliminate the issue of taking a picture through glass - but could increase the risks of failure due to moving parts.

When will we see it?

With the Pixel 6 coming out later this year, it’s unlikely that this particular feature will be part of it. However, while we won’t be seeing the Pixel 7 until late 2022 at least, it is possible that this will be a flagship feature to grab those headlines.

Then there’s the fact that this is just a patent at this point. Companies patent new technologies all the time, but this doesn't mean they will necessarily push it through the production. Hardware and cost limitations may mean that Google’s idea is still a few years away - or it could just be around the corner.

Only time will tell, and as soon as we know more about it, we’ll let you know.

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