Google could be eyeing to add under-display cameras to its future Pixel phones. The tech giant has filed a patent for a new technology for an under-display front-facing camera that would eliminate hole punch cutout from the screen. It would allow hiding the camera under the screen when not in use and provide more screen space for users for an uninterrupted viewing experience. The introduction of the new technology would give Google superiority over Apple’s iPhone models. Samsung’s premium Galaxy Z Fold series foldable handsets already ship with under-display cameras (UDC).
As initially spotted by Patently Apple, Google has filed for a patent with the European Patent Office titled “System and Apparatus of Under-Display Camera.” The patent indicates new features for the screens of Pixel phones. The patent explains a new under-display front-facing camera that would allow Google to place the camera under the display panel without a separate hole-punch cutout or a notch. This would offer an uninterrupted full-screen experience for users.
As per Google’s patent application, the display would need to be emissive and allow the transmission of light to a camera. The emissive display should have one or more portions through which light is transmitted to reach one or more camera sensors located underneath the panel. As per the description, the portion of the display through which light is transmitted to the camera sensors functions as a portion of the light-emitting display of the handset.
Google states that a computing device can include a display having two or more cameras located under the display, and light can pass through one or more portions or regions of the display to reach the cameras, while the display continues to perform the functions of the display. “Such example implementations are preferable to conventional displays, because a user experience is improved when the display performs the functions of the display (example: displays images) over a large area of the device and allows the use of a camera without disrupting the operation of the display” it added.
In addition to the detailed description of the patent, the documentation includes some images to provide further references to the ongoing experiments.
Google has not revealed any details about the adoption of under-display front-facing cameras on Pixel devices. The patented technology could just be used for testing and it is expected to undergo changes before the final release.
Brands like ZTE, and Xiaomi have already come up with this technology earlier. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series also has placed cameras under the display. However, the introduction of the under-display camera on Pixel phones would give Google dominance over the iPhone.