Next-gen Pixel smartphones may have under-display cameras thanks to a new Google patent
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The smartphone selfie camera is showing increasingly convincing signs of evolving from the ever-present punch-hole into an under-display (or UDC) form instead. In this form, the lens is still lodged within a mobile device's screen panel, but is located under a specialized square of this material that can become clear at need in order to deploy the front-facing sensor.
UDCs are currently projected to become more popular and prevalent over the next few years, possibly starting with their adoption in the upcoming premium Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 phablet. Furthermore, it now looks like Google has its own version in the works, according to a new patent recently submitted to the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO).
It depicts a form of mobile camera clearly intended to hide beneath a display when not in use. It indicates that Google has developed an interesting mechanism in order to bring this about: apparently, the "active" UDC part of the display overlays a prism that can rotate to face a lens and sensor at need, or an "auxiliary display" so as to complete the screen's edge-to-edge look when not in use.
This rumored successor's (or successors', maybe) to the 5 leaks contain renders showing a central punch-hole thus far in any case. Therefore, this new 'Google UDC' might be ready for the OEM's 2022 phones at the earliest.