Google patents under-display camera for its Pixel smartphone
Google has filed a patent that describes a new under-display front-facing camera that could be used in its Pixel smartphone. The patent application describes how its devices can be equipped with an emissive display that transmits light into the camera sensors, allowing them to get rid of holes in the display.
Under-display cameras already exist in smartphones such as those made by Samsung and ZTE. Google’s version, however, is intended to maximize camera quality by introducing deliberate light-blocking elements and distortions. Google lays out how it can improve photo and video quality by using two parts of the display with different shapes and patterns to block or distort the light while it passes through the screen. The patent also mentions image correction algorithms that could be applied to images captured by camera sensors located under the light-emitting display.
Smartphone biometrics have largely bifurcated into under-display fingerprints and facial recognition delivered from hardware set apart from the display. A recent Apple patent application suggests a way to capture fingerprint, face and iris biometrics from under the display, and the Pixel 7, released in the second half of 2022, features face and fingerprint modalities, but the front-facing camera is held under a hole in the display.
Samsung came out with an under-display camera Galaxy Z Fold 4 in 2022 but the quality is still lacking. Apple is also reportedly planning to equip its iPhone 17 models with under-display cameras.