Oppo demonstrates world’s first under-screen camera at MWC Shanghai

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New Delhi | Published: June 27, 2019 4:11 PM

Oppo is pioneering the world's first under-screen camera at the MWC Shanghai

Oppo, one of the few mobile companies to have pioneered ways to reach the maximum screen-to-body ratio, is now showing off the world’s first technology where the camera is embedded under the display. After nearly two years of relocating the front camera to different spots on the phone, Oppo is demonstrating the first under-screen camera in its latest experiment to attain the ambitious bezel-less display.

At the Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Oppo unveiled what it is calling the world’s first under-screen camera on a prototype after teasing it a few days back. Oppo is likely to be joined by Xiaomi in the race to project the cameras under the display on smartphones. Oppo gave an explainer to how the technology works and it has mechanisms galore.

Oppo said it is using a custom transparent material on the display that, with the help of pixel restructuring, can allow light to pass through it. The camera sitting underneath has a sensor larger than the regular ones so that more light can be captured at once. Oppo is using its own technology called zoning control to make sure the required area on the display morphs into a transparent film when clicking selfies.

Of course, a novelty like this comes with teething problems and Oppo is aware of them. Even if there is a transparent surface before a camera sensor, there is room for aberrations to occur in the photo. Oppo is relying on algorithms to remove these distortions in the selfies. Oppo claims that the resulting selfies are “on par with mainstream devices”, which sounds platitudinous, considering major OEMs have contradicted the existence of front cameras in favour of image quality that rear cameras produce.

With the new under-screen camera technology, the umpteen number of workarounds for the front camera, including variations on display cutouts and relocation of the camera to a slider and other props, will wane for good. That being said, it is quite early to determine the commercial feasibility of the technology, at least until Oppo launches the first phone with an under-screen camera “in the near future”. But it can be assumed that this technology will soon be available on a phone if we go by the company’s previous endeavours.

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