Google files patent for under-display camera designed for an upcoming Pixel model

Google files patent for under-display camera designed for an upcoming Pixel model
Google filed a patent application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) last September for a smartphone (presumably a Pixel) with an under-screen selfie camera. The ZTE Axon 20 is already available with such a feature and other manufacturers including Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo could launch handsets this year using an under-screen selfie camera.

If you're wondering what the point is of moving the selfie snapper under the display, it eliminates the need for a notch or a punch-hole camera thus allowing manufacturers to reduce the size of a phone's bezels to create an edge-to-edge screen. According to LetsGo Digital, Google's patent for an under-display selfie camera for the Pixel improves on the current technology's poor quality results.

Considering that renders of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro reveal a punch-hole camera on the screen, it would appear that the first Pixel with an under-display selfie camera could be 2022's Pixel 7 series. Or, the under-display camera technology could be getting prepped for use in a foldable Google phone that has been rumored by display analyst Ross Young to appear in the second half of the year, possibly as soon as August. Code for a foldable Pixel also recently surfaced.

The patent describes a mobile phone or a tablet with a full-screen display and a front-facing camera with other sensors under the display. A second screen is placed opposite the camera under the main screen. A prism is located between the camera and the auxiliary display.

When the camera is off and not being used, the content on the second screen is reflected onto the main display thanks to the prism. Once the camera is turned on, the prism rotates allowing incoming light to reach the camera allowing the user to take high-quality photographs and videos. The small auxiliary display contains an ambient sensor, a proximity sensor and / or an IR sensor with the latter able to support 3D face recognition.

You might remember that the Pixel 4 line included Face Unlock, but Google returned to the fingerprint scanner for subsequent models. The company did hint that the feature might return some day and that could be the day that the Pixel 7 series is released next year.

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